Prototypical design for a proprietary childcare center located in Christiansburg, Virginia

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Virginia Tech

This study draws on the theory and methodology of many fields to propose an alternative way of conceptualizing and conducting inquiry into the issues of daycare center design. The application of this approach is then illustrated using the collected data to design an actual childcare facility.

Qualitative interviews were conducted with directors and selected staff members of two different childcare centers, as well as with the parents of children currently attending each center. Analysis of the data collected reveals that there are many factors which shape and affect daycare center design options, including site size, finances, geographic location, number of children to be cared for and staff size.

The objective of this study was to design a prototypical proprietary daycare center in Christiansburg, Virginia for a client whose requirements were for a single building to accommodate three groups of users: 1. approximately 122 children from the ages of 6 weeks to 12 years, 2. the adults needed to staff the center, and 3. The parents of the children attending the center. Design features that were found to be advantageous to the development of a daycare center in the course of field study (i.e., full height walls for sound control, ample storage, easily reconfigured furnishings, natural interior lighting, staff break room) were incorporated into the proposed structure. This research contributes to a more complete understanding of daycare center design problems which affect the adults who interact with the center, as well as the children who attend the center.