Day-care must be spaces where children’s cognitive, motor, and psychological skills are developed, without accidents taking place due to lack of foresight. A safe centre for Early Childhood students must meet 10 requirements.
First of all, there is a golden rule so that a day-care can be classified as a safe school. On this norm, the first point of the list, the remaining nine points are sustained.
This is the space between the floor and the 1.20 m height of the entire installation and the accesses (including the transit area and the area of usual use). In this space there should not be dangerous elements accessible to children or that may cause physical or psychological damage.
The delimitation of the centre and access control must preserve the safety of minors and protect them from strangers and elements that may cause an accident (scalable fences, etc.).
The following aspects must be taken into account, already in the projection and construction of the childcare centre in Hervey Bay:
- Floors: they have to be slightly soft. According to the needs that the activities require, in each space the level of buffering of these will be increased.
- Doors: depending on the space to which they are derived, they must be inaccessible for children (kitchen, cleaning, etc.) or accessible (child transit area). Keep in mind that children can injure some of their extremities with the door or, if they have glasses, they can be injured or cut in case of breakage.
- Windows: must be inaccessible to child manipulation. Not only must they not be able to open them, but equipment must be avoided to facilitate climbing.
- Stairs and unevenness: all the unevenness in the child transit area must be safe for children. The rest of them must be inaccessible to the small students.
- Plugs: those that are not located above the safety zone, must have child protections. In no case can they be accessible to minors, as well as electronic devices and their cables, which must be located above that area.
The care and activity spaces must be fully accessible and connected to each other. The following characteristics must be taken into account:
- Visual: meeting a basic need in particular should not imply the loss of visual contact with the group in general.
- Specific: there must be differentiated and adapted spaces for each specific assistance and for each programmed activity.
- Multi-purpose: the spaces must be prepared to welcome children of different levels and with different needs.
Although it is mandatory, there are many schools that lack a Self-Protection Plan. This must have the involvement of all the staff of the centre and must be designed under the precepts of possible emergencies, always depending on the characteristics of the children.
The school environment must be also adapt to the needs of the children and their families. These public spaces must have signals that inform drivers that they are in a place frequented by minors and act accordingly.
The elements that make up a nursery school, whatever its usefulness, must be specific for the development of its function, be adapted to the skills and abilities of children, as well as their anthropometric measures, and comply with current regulations.