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The building blocks of designing early childhood educational environments

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Jaclynn Shaw
Publication Date: 
31 Dec 2009



Early childhood educational (ECE) facilities overwhelmingly impact their occupants; the design of these facilities, therefore, cannot be understated as young children often spend up to 12,500 hours of their juvenile lives in child development centers (Day, 1983; Vaughan, 2007). An analysis of the literature and research on ECE reveals differences in the layout of preschool, kindergarten, and first grade classrooms. This paper demonstrates how the design of the physical environment should evolve to respond to the developmental needs of preschool, kindergarten, and first grade children. Both literature and research on ECE environments have been used to create a schematic analysis that informs designers of particular design implications used to create a physical space successful in fostering and enhancing positive child development and effective learning.