Documento sin título
In a way, the structure of the early childhood education center has gone through the same difficulties as the concept of this age group in the course of its historical conception. Although the first institutions for children were conceived with their own attributes, a retrospective analysis of what has been done reveals that at some point in its history, childhood began to be considered as a precedent of the following stage, school, as a preparatory period for school without any significance in itself. This influenced plans and programs, contaminated curriculum and, consequently, was reflected in the structure and organization of the early childhood education center.

Thus, the early childhood education center began to be viewed as a small school, and, therefore, with a structure and school organizational criteria, only smaller and, apparently, less complex.

The lack of knowledge on the attributes of this stage of development and the needs and interests of the children, the conditions for their formation and education, led to the introduction in the creation of early childhood education centers of the same structural and organizational patterns usually recognized for the school, which was reflected in all of its conception, design, setting and organizational modes.

Enjoy Exploring!


The structure of the building of the early childhood education center is usually of one of two types:

•  Buildings specifically created for this type of educational institution.

•  Homes, or other type of building, adapted to serve as early childhood education centers.

The first centers created and those that in their beginning followed the classical curriculum models were organized in homes or storefronts that were adapted to the needs and requirements of an early childhood education center, as was the case of Froebel's Kindergarten or Montessori's Casa de Bambini. As early childhood education developed, it became necessary to have specially built centers that, as was said before, for a long time, and even now, followed the traditional school criteria.

In any case, from the beginning some considerations were raised as to how to conceive and build an early childhood education center that responded to the needs of children in this age group. Many of the questions that are now raised as innovations or modernizations within the organization of an early childhood education center were already raised by the great authors of early childhood curriculum, not only on the human setting but also in the physical terms. The following are some of these items that are still current in early childhood education:

•  The early childhood education center should have a large outdoors area organized for varied usage: games, walks, a vegetable garden, and a garden (Froebel).

•  The kindergarten should have at least one playroom, another for occupations (activities), a fore room and a garden or patio. The indoor rooms should be well illuminated with natural light and proper ventilation. (L. Malucska, quoting Froebel).

•  Furniture should be adapted to the child, with round borders. There should be bench-desks that can be disassembled and transformed into tables for one or two children and for small groups. There should be shelves placed at the children's reach. (Froebel).

•  In the decor there should be clearly visible pictures of animals, country landscapes and natural scenery. (Froebel).

•  The organization of the groups should be mixed, with mixed age groups. (Froebel, Montessori, Decroly).

•  The organization of the age groups should correspond in one-year sections. Agazzi.

•  The rooms for children should meet special hygiene, light, ventilation and heating requirements, as well as others. (Agazzi).

•  There should be a proportion of square meters per child, both indoors and outdoors. (Agazzi).

•  The setting for the children should be specially structured. (Montessori).

•  Furniture should be of light colors, manageable and light and should match the height and strength of the children (Montessori).

•  The outdoors area should have at least a terrace, a garden and a small vegetable garden (Montessori).

•  The early childhood education center should enable the direct contact with nature and have a vegetable garden, garden and an animal corner (Decroly).

These are some of the items outlined by the classic authors regarding the organization of the life of the children, their physical environment, furniture, etc. In reality, the most significant and current contributions are found in the curriculum project but it is interesting to observe that also in the management and organization of the early childhood education they raised questions that are still current.

The possibility of having a specially built center gives us two important opportunities:

•  Ensure that the building and its organization respond to the needs and features of the children in this age group.

•  Allow for an adequate direction, organization, regulation, control and management of the early childhood education center.

This last point is particularly important for the state owned early childhood education centers because it allows homogenizing the educational system in the organizational sense, which has important financial implications. In the case of the privately owned centers, that in some countries have little state control over their management, adequate direction work is irrelevant because there are very few instances in which one single person owns a large number of centers; in most cases they would own only one or two centers.

However, in some places there are non-governmental organizations or large private firms that have a large number of early childhood education centers under their control and who should also be concerned with that adequate task of direction and management.

While the privately owned center is not part, in most of the countries, of state regulations, it does require a specific project that establishes, as should be the case for homes adapted as centers that are owned by the state, the regulations and particularities of their organization.

The project of organization of the early childhood education center is really the definition of the center from the point of view of the building and its organization and includes all that pertaining to the description of the building, the use of the different areas, organization and structure of the age groups, staffing and its distribution, capacity and number of children per room and of all the center, according to the standing legislation or the rulings set by the educational authorities.

This organizational project is regulated by the state institutions that should follow, generally speaking, the established organizational lines and that are usually set in different rulings or documents that make all the early childhood education centers of a given educational community somewhat alike, both in terms of their buildings and their organization. In the case of homes that are adapted, either private or public owned, are different and require then of an organizational project of their own because they are impossible to place under general rulings and require a specific study for each building.

In both instances, the curriculum project defines the particularities of the early childhood education center that from the organizational point of view is linked to it, regardless of the type of construction, in order to respond theoretically and methodologically to its model.

The definition of the structure of the early childhood education center has to do with several aspects that should answer three basic questions:

•  That the structure responds functionally to the needs and particularities of the children in this age group.

•  That it matches functionally with the particularities of the organization of the educational process.

•  That it matches functionally with the particularities of the direction, organization and functioning of the early childhood education center.

The order of these factors is crucial. We first have to consider the child and from this consideration we can derive what needs to be done in the educational process and, consequently, how to direct and organize the center to address the first two questions.

Thus, we come across a fundamental axiom of the structure and organization of the early childhood education center. The organization of the early childhood education center is a pedagogical issue. This implies what we have just explained lines above regarding the priority order of the factors mentioned.

This way, the early childhood education center must respond to the satisfaction of needs and requirements of the children in this age group, the way of life of the children determines the distribution of staff and not the other way around, the preparation and training of the teaching staff must take place at a time when it does not affect the attention to the children, among many other things to be considered.

The building itself should follow this idea and it cannot be outside the requirements for this age group. To build an early childhood education center is not just a task for architects and designers: it also requires the participation of specialists that have an even more important role: the psychologist, the pedagogue, pediatrician, dietician, among others who are knowledgeable on the features, needs and conditions that children of this age require for their adequate development. Therefore, the design and building criteria, although very important, have to follow the technical, educational and health requirements.

In reality, the construction of an early childhood education center requires the participation of all these professionals; so that each one contributes what he thinks is best to ensure the most appropriate development of the children, reaching agreements that enable the functionality of the center.


The determination of the capacity of an early childhood education center is an extremely important issue for the general health of the children and for their emotional well-being.

School hygiene regulates the number of children that can be part of a group at the same time, according to the space available and the possibility of satisfying the basic needs of the children. This leads us to the concept of vital surface. By vital surface we understand the space that the child requires to carry out his vital activity without interference and harm to his health.

In the case of the early childhood education center, the vital surface includes not only the classroom, but also the outdoor areas, the halls, common areas and all the space in which the children can be together, play, exchange, walk, etc. The administrative areas, kitchen, etc. are not part of this vital surface because, in theory, the child should not be there nor conduct any activity in those areas.

The most recent international indications point out that each child should have in the early childhood education center two and a half square meters of vital surface, which is an index to estimate the general capacity of the center and of each classroom, which is generally determined, or should be generally established by the official regulations, so that it covers both the public and private centers.

In the case of adapted homes, it is essential to carefully study their vital surface to determine their capacity. Frequently, especially in the private centers, these elements are unknown and the capacity is determined in an arbitrary manner, following past experiences, which creates organizational problems and affects the health condition of the children.

Most interesting of this is that the classic authors of early childhood education expressed their concern in this sense, something that some seem to have forgotten. For example, Froebel stated that in the playroom of the kindergarten there should be 0.66 square meters per child. The Agazzi sisters stated that the covered space of the center should have at least four square meters and ten in the open areas, including the garden. That these figures do not match the current criteria does not mean that these statements are not well thought out.

To go over the capacity of the centers and specifically of the activity room can lead to crowded classrooms that are extremely harmful for the health and emotional well-being of the children, especially the very young ones, up to three years of age. Ii is also negative for the children slightly older than this but these children, have in some ways, means to look after themselves that the younger children do not yet have.

In summary, the capacity of an early childhood center is a very serious issue that should be taken into account in its educational project and cannot be determined in an improvised manner but only by someone who has a deep knowledge of the age group and the implications that it has on their health condition and general development.

A second aspect to be considered within the capacity of an early childhood education center is the use of this capacity. The under use of a facility is a social problem because to run a center below its capacities becomes a serious issue for an institution serving the community.

Regarding the capacity of an early childhood education center is there are two other important questions:

•  What should be the maximum capacity of a center for children in this age group?

•  What should be the maximum capacity in a classroom for children in this age group?

The maximum capacity of an early childhood education center is related to many technical factors, and not only to buildings and materials; among them we have:

•  Vital surface, as has been explained.

•  Material conditions that adequately answer to the needs of educational work.

•  Availability of staff and an adequate staff-children ratio.

•  The technical level of the educators and their aides.

•  The social and cultural particularities of the community where the center is located.

These are only some of these factors that jointly determine the optimal capacity that can be assumed given the existing conditions. However, the particularities of age and the social role that the center has to play are elements that should be taken into account in this assessment.

The early childhood education center, from its inception was conceived for small groups that enable a close relation between the children and the adults educating them, That is, more than the physical environment, the focus is on the human environment, which can be seriously affected when the groups are very large. Froebel stated that the groups should be of no more than 15 or 20 children, with a large proportion of gardeners. The Agazzi sisters who worked with underprivileged children pointed to the possibility of 30 children for a teacher and a nanny, in addition to the cook, Decroly talked about 20 to 25 children. Montessori specified heterogeneous groups (various ages), but also small groups, as did Froebel.

Gaston Mialaret in his report for UNESCO states that the centers should have a unique architectural configuration, defining these centers, among other features as:

“They should not have a very large number of children for two main reasons:

•  First, they must keep the quality of a large family within which the child feels safe and can know all the other members of the community and establish friendship relations with each one of them.

•  Second, to keep that family quality, there should not be a large number of adults working in the center, for the same reason as above”.

Its configuration should be for the exclusive attendance of children between 0 and 6 years of age, clearly differentiated and separate from the units of the following educational levels to preserve the physical safety and, even more important, psychological safety of the children.

This leads us to consider that early childhood education has always been conceived and should be so, for relatively small institutions that allow for a direct and close interaction of the teaching staff with the children and an individualized treatment.


The setting of the early childhood education center can be considered from two points of view:

•  The human setting, basically given by the relation between the children and the adults caring for them and teaching them.

•  The physical setting that is directly linked with the organization, distribution and functioning of the material aspects, especially, space.

The human setting has always been the main concern of those who promoted the education of the children of this age group within institutions, over other aspects of the setting. In this sense, Froebel even stated that the physical setting is not fundamental but rather,what is important is what takes place in that setting and explains somehow why Froebel spends such little time on explaining how to organize the physical setting of the center in all of his writings.

For Froebel the main issue was the human setting, as the early childhood education center was to be an eminently educational place, rather than a place where children would just be cared for.

In this sense, nothing can be said against his criteria, since he is saying that it is not enough to have good material conditions if there is no appropriate human relation between the children and their educators, if there is no understanding atmosphere, a personalized treatment and a stimulating setting. It is well know the experience of R. Spitz, in his study of the separation of children from their mothers upon their entry into institutions where he found serious physical and intellectual lackings, in spite of the fact that the material conditions of attention were optimal. The mechanical and impersonal treatment of those working there, linked to erroneous criteria from the technical point of view, were relevant factors for the situation he found when he studied these institutions.

Therefore, positive physical and human settings are necessary in the education of children in early childhood education centers.

These two aspects are determined by the curriculum project and the educational project and are conjugated to determine what is known as the emotional and educational climate of the early childhood education center.

The emotional climate of the early childhood education center can be defined as the result of the dialectic unity of the human and environmental factors that determines the obtention of an atmosphere in the early childhood education center that fosters the healthy development of the personality of the children, their psychological well-being and stimulates the cognitive development process as a result of the educational work. The factors of the emotional climate are:




Environmental factors

Structure of the classrooms

Noise level

Color schemes

Light and ventilation

Outdoor areas


Organizational factors


Group structure

Staff distribution


Psycho pedagogical factors

Educational direction

Educational process: Type of activities, Cognitive interests & Adaptation process




Social factors

Between the children

Between the children and adults

Between the staff of the early childhood education center

Between the staff and parents

Between the early childhood education center and the community


As explained in this table, the emotional climate of the early childhood education center is linked to various factors: environmental, organizational, psychological, pedagogical, and social and their joint action determines that the center has an appropriate atmosphere for the educational work and the happy stay of the children in it.

The Design

The design of the center of early childhood education and its architectural conception should correspond with what is recommended from the psycho pedagogical and organizational points of view to promote its better functioning and that of the educational work done in it. Often, the design of the early childhood education center is given less importance as it is thought that the organizational solutions should solve the difficulties that could come up due to the structure of the facility. While it is true that the organizational actions are basic, it is not less true that the design factors can cause serious problems when they are not adjusted to what is technically advisable for the educational process.

The design should answer, as has been said before, to three factors:

•  Those related to the particularities and needs of the children.

•  Those related to the educational work.

•  Those related to the direction and organization of the early childhood education center.

Generally, the best type of facility for an early childhood education center is a one floor facility, because it not only fosters the activity of the children but it makes the control and regulation of the general activity of the center easier, besides easing the work and physical efforts of the teaching staff and directors.

The design should take into account several basic organizational aspects:

•  That the early childhood education center has all the areas needed for its optimal functioning.

•  That there is a separation between the activity areas of the children, the administrative spaces and the service areas.

•  That the administrative areas (Principal's office and others) are easily accessible for parents and other visitors without having them crossing the play and activity areas of the children.

•  That the service areas (kitchen, storage, laundry, etc.) are delimited and not accessible to children.

•  That the office staff can easily control all the children's areas and the entry doors to the center.

•  That the access into the center can be efficiently controlled without having to leave other tasks unattended.

•  That an adequate level of attention can be provided without having to increase the staff numbers.

These are some of the basic guidelines for the design of the center and that are a lot easier to meet when the early childhood education center is on one floor.

The outdoor areas of the early childhood education center have a key relation with the design and they deserve a separate mention.

Given the stage of development of the children in this age group, it should be easy for them to be outdoors because it is in direct contact with the sunshine, plants, open air where they find the best conditions for their activity and their emotion al well-being.

The curriculum project should contemplate that the majority of the activities of the children take place outdoors and that the classrooms are only used for those activities that require specific conditions and for the satisfaction of the processes of basic needs, such as eating or sleeping. The educational project and, within it, the design of the center should enable the existence of ample outdoor areas with easy access for the children and without the potential risk of accidents.

However, often centers are found that, while having the possibility of having outdoor areas, these are underused, with most of the daily lives of the children taking place in the classrooms. This is not only a bad educational decision but it is also against the health of the children.

If there are no outdoor areas that facilitate the activity of the children, the educational project should contemplate the possibility that, within the facility there are places, such as halls, terraces, etc. that can be used for the same purpose. Therefore, design or organizational solutions are needed when the early childhood education center does not have outdoor areas.

This, in turn, should be considered within the educational project of the center, even if it has outdoor areas, for those weather conditions that require children to remain inside.

Following the curriculum project, this outdoor area can be, or not, structured by areas, according to different criteria. These areas can be:

•  Open area, generally with grass or partially paved, for free group and individual activities that allows for the development of motor activities.

•  Play area with swings, slides and other activities for gross motor activity, such as ladders, hangers, tires and buildings such as labyrinths, doll houses, etc.

•  Water and sand areas for games of this type.

•  Areas for role-plays and skits and stunts, that can, or not, depending on the curriculum, be permanent or temporary.

•  Vegetable garden that can have a small annex for an animal pen.

•  Flower garden, as such or to divide other areas.

The different activities of the early childhood education center can require the existence of service areas such as laundry, kitchen, storage etc that are usually placed outdoors. In this case, they should be well delimited and the children should not have access to them.

The outdoor areas should be stimulating and appropriate for the activities of the children, and have the basic resources for this purpose. This does not require sophisticated or industrially made products; they can be made with many different resources and recycled materials, such as ropes, old tires, pieces of wood, boxes, old car pieces, among many others, that can diversify the play options of the children.

In those centers where conditions allow, even the processes of satisfaction of basic needs such as eating and siesta can take place outdoors. All that is needed is to take a few organizational measures to ensure they are efficiently accomplished.

There are centers, especially in warm countries that have a swimming pool in the outdoor areas for children to swim in it. It should be well fenced off to avoid children wandering by. The curriculum project should consider the possibilities of conducting this type of activity that is so beneficial for young children, but it should be conveniently organized.

Finally, hygiene should not be forgotten in the outdoor areas, they should be kept clean and free of trash as well as potential sources of accidents, such as cans, electrical wires, unfenced holes or pools, access to service areas, fences in disrepair, among others.

The general areas of the early childhood education center

Within the design of the child institution, the structure and organization of its general areas is of key importance, since the functioning of the center as a social institution depends on them. Generally, these areas are the most stable in the process of organization because they usually do not change in relation with the curriculum model. In this sense, regardless of the model followed by the educational process, the center of early childhood education as such is a service institution that provides social attention and requires different areas for its functioning.

In the description and analysis of these areas, we start from the assumption that we are describing a large early childhood education center, with a capacity for up to 180 children that services all age groups, from babies to children up to 6 years of age, and that, therefore, requires a large staff.

Generally speaking, the areas of the early childhood education center can be grouped in three basic areas:

•  teaching, administration and health services

•  services area

•  activity area for children

The teaching, administration and health services, include the offices and administration, the pedagogical office and the medical office. It can include the area of general services of the center.

The principal's office and administration.

These areas that are closely linked can be placed in the same room or in two separate rooms. Generally, when the size of the center does not allow for it, they are found in the same room, which is also the case when the principal of the center is also the administrative person.

The office centralizes all the management and administration of the center and is the meeting point for the discussion of the work plans and with the people who have something to do with the center, be it parents, officials, etc.

Its location within the center of early childhood education should allow the principal to oversee from her office most of the activity of the center, which facilitates a more efficient regulation of work. This is why it is generally placed close to the entrance of the center, because it also allows for the control of the entrance of visitors into the center.

The office may have, or not, a small room for small work meetings, or for private parent meetings.

The office, if it is in a separate room should be next to the principal's office because due to the content of the work done there, the staff has to be in close contact with the school principal. In some countries, the large centers have someone in charge of these duties who is usually called the administrator, administrative vice principal or a similar name, and who is in charge of controlling the resources, the administrative aspects of the staff, takes care of the material needs of the center, among other tasks.

The hall

Generally located next to the administration, it is the access from the outside into the center. Since it is the entrance of the institution, it should give a favorable impression of hygiene, decoration and organization.

The hall is the ideal place to provide information to parents, and that is why there should be a bulletin board where different notices can be pinned: meeting announcements, information for parents, daily menus, pictures of the children and their activities, among others. In some centers there is a mailbox for parents to leave requests or suggestions, as well as a small shelf with books and publications on education of children in this age group that are easy to read and understand and that can be consulted by parents if they need to spend some time in the reception area.

In some countries the hall is used for staff to receive children and it is there where teachers and staff converse with parents, collect the clothing bags of the children and where they are observed to detect if they are ill or not, and where information is provided to parents. This obviously may cause delays in the incorporation of children, with people waiting to be received, making it awkward and noisy, among other negative factors.

This situation becomes more acute when, instead of the father or mother walking in with the child, they ring the bell and wait for someone to collect the child at the door. Besides complicating the entrance into the center, this has negative effects on the educational work, as follows:

•  when the child is delivered in the hall, there is a rupture of the educational process because parents cannot interact directly with the staff working with their child, which creates a lack of communication and of affective relation between all those who are working on the child's education.

•  Turns the center into a closed institution into which parents do not have any direct access to the places where their children spend a great part of their days nor can they talk with his educators.

•  Psychologically, it turns the child into an object that is delivered and collected daily and it creates in his mind the idea that there is a separation between his home and the place where he is educated.

The main reason used, besides the administrative actions that are considered in this type of planning for the entrance of children into the school is health reasons and the need for a daily medical control to allow the child to come in or not, but this can be solved with other kinds of organization that do not have this negative style.

The doctor's office

Health care in the early childhood education center is provided in three main ways:

•  There is no such service and the medical control is turned over to the health services, with the center just receiving information from the doctors through the child's parents.

•  The doctor visits the center on a regular basis, monitoring the health of the children, and performing planned medical actions. This can be provided along with a nurse service.

•  The doctor is part of the staff of the early childhood education center, sometimes with the assistance of a nurse.

These last two possibilities imply the need to have in the center an office just for this purpose that is usually called the doctor's office, or health room.

The duties of the doctor and nurse in the institution are guided by some indications or guidelines. Now it is only necessary to point out that the center where their activity takes place should be a well-illuminated and ventilated room, with pleasant visual stimulation for the children. The doctor's office is usually a place that provokes a lot of anxiety for children, who often reject it, and that is why there should be good communication between the health staff and the educators of the early childhood education center to allow for an efficient development of the medical actions.

The doctor's office can have a closed area to care for children who get ill while at the center and who have to wait for their parents to collect them. This can be a separate room with two small beds and a chair for the adult caring for the children; it should be pleasantly decorated because the child realizes he is ill and that he has been placed in an area that may worry him.

An important aspect is the individual treatment of each child avoiding having them come to the office in group because they get worried watching what is happening to other children while they wait, for example if they are getting a vaccination. This is especially important when visiting the dentist, because both children and adults get nervous when having to see a dentist.

The medical control of the children when they come into the center can be done by the nurse, who strategically placed by the door, can observe for symptoms in the children and assess their health condition as they come in. This means that the nurse has to be very skilled in doing this in a very quick and reliable manner.

The pedagogical office

The pedagogical office is a place for the daily and periodic preparation of the technical and teaching staff of the center, where they go to following a pre-established system. It is a place to exchange information and have technical meetings and where individuals can work and study.

In this room there are usually books for the staff to consult, publications, and other reading materials on the educational process. On the various shelves there should be materials and pedagogical supplies, as well as toys and others.

There is usually a bulletin board to post news for the staff, timetables, and any other important message.

This room can be located anywhere in the center, except in the services area and should provide for silence and study of the staff members. The office is not a place for children to be in and it should be closed when there are no adults working in it.

The services area

It includes various sections, among them:

•  The general kitchen

•  The feeding room for babies

•  The laundry and drying areas

•  The staff lunchroom

•  The locker room and toilets for staff

•  The food pantry

•  The service patio

•  Other areas

The general kitchen is one of the service areas with a more complex organization because it is where the food for children over two years of age and the staff is prepared. In some centers, the kitchen is working all day long and some times there are shifts for its staff, which makes its operation even more complex.

In the general kitchen, along with the feeding room for babies the health and sanitary guidelines have to be very closely followed, because if not, there could be problems such as contamination of food, accidents, etc. It could also provoke food intoxications in the children and affect their health condition.

The early childhood education center has to have a hygiene-sanitary ruling for, among others, the hygienic procedures in the general kitchen and the feeding room for babies, to avoid improvisation or mistakes by the staff, who should consult it regularly. At the same time there should be a ruling for the handling and preparation of meals and the cooking and serving procedures.

There should be a diet handbook available, with different menu options to help the cooks prepare the food for the children, that has been scientifically conceived to satisfy all the nutrition requirements of the children.

The most important thing of these three documents is that they regulate the cooking and preparation of meals preventing that things are done without a specific criteria, which would be technically unadvisable.

The fact is that there are serious risks of contamination, therefore, the food should always move forward in its preparation process so that it leaves the kitchen ready to be served.

The general kitchen should be separate from the dining hall and other outside service areas, which can usually be solved with door and window screens that prevent the entry of flies, mice, and dust, wind, etc. Access to the dining hall is usually solved with a small serving window through which plates and trays are passed or another similar means. This is particularly important in relation with the dining hall for the adults that is generally placed in a room next to the general kitchen.

If food is served in the classrooms, the thermal cart should be filled and covered in the kitchen and then moved to the classroom. The kitchen staff should handle and serve the meals following the applicable hygienic rules.

The organization of the food service is based on the timetable of the children and the food handlers and the administration should plan accordingly, selecting and distributing foodstuff, preparing and cooking it adequately to preserve its qualities.

This is why there should be a board in the kitchen with the timetables, the general schedule of the kitchen as well as other important information, such as the food allergies of the children inn each group and the appropriate substitutes for other food.

The activity areas of the children

They are the most important of the entire early childhood education center and should be organized in an optimal way. The emotional climate of the center and the psychological well-being of the children depend on how these areas respond to the needs and interests of the children. The components of this area are mainly

•  The outdoor areas (that were already analyzed)

•  The classrooms

•  The sleeping areas

•  The multipurpose room

•  The dressing rooms

•  The bathrooms and toilets

•  The halls

There are curriculum models, such as the Montessori system, that establish in a very well defined manner how to organize the activity areas of the children, especially the classrooms. However, there are some general design and organization principles and guidelines that are common to many curriculum models and this analysis is based on them.

The classrooms are the main place for their activity, something that occasionally is taken to an extreme, becoming the only place for them, with little or no use of the outdoor areas that, as we said before should be the main location for their activities and where they should spend most of the time they are at the center.

The classroom should meet the best design and organization conditions to facilitate the efficient development of all the activities that take place in it. A good classroom should:

•  Be designed for the age group it will house, because its structure, furniture, color scheme, ventilation, soundproofing, aesthetics vary according to the age of the children.

•  be placed so that it is easy to access but at the same time separate enough so as to not interfere with the activities of the other classrooms.

•  Be of the adequate size according to the index of vital surface described above.

•  Be flexible enough to allow for changes and transformation for various activities and respond to all basic needs.

•  Be devoid of potential risks of accidents.

•  Be adjusted to the weather conditions of its location, trying to be an open room, that allows the child to observe what is happening outside of it, with ample low windows and doors that can be easily handled by the children.

Considering their structure and organization, the classrooms can be of two types:

•  The baby room or classroom for children in their first year of life (0 to 1).

•  The classrooms for the rest of the age groups, by age group or cycle.

The baby room, because of its specificity requires a particular organizational study because its work is really complex, since it houses very young children that have four different schedules for their daily lives: from 0 to 3 months, from 3 to 6 months, from 6 to 9 months and from 9 and 12 months.

Structurally, the room should be conceived with an area for activities, a bedroom, a toilet and changing area, a crawling area and a dressing room.

The activity room should be properly furnished, and it is the only place where the children can walk, so it is not necessary for the adults entering it cover their shoes or use special slippers. In this room, there should be a special area for the babies to crawl when the weather outside prevents them from doing it outdoors.

The more scientific hygienic and sanitary requirements establish that the children from 0 to 1 year of age should sleep in a crib or a small bed that is at least 10 cm off the floor, to avoid contamination risks. However, in some centers, sometimes the babies or very young children sleep on cots placed directly on the floor and many times, next to each other, which fosters the transmission of diseases in the young children.

The cribs or beds should be placed preferably in the sleeping room of this area and the children should be placed by age range. With the younger ones placed in the most tranquil areas because they spend most of the time sleeping.

In the crawling are, both outdoors and indoors, it is necessary for the adults to use special shoes or slippers because the babies place their hands on the floor and the sole of the adults' shoes can carry harmful germs.

In some early childhood education centers there is an annex to this room for mothers to come and breastfeed their children. This area should meet the minimum requirements of hygiene and privacy and the mother should be provided with an apron or a robe to avoid the transmission of dust and other harmful germs. If the mother is to breastfeed her baby in the same room with other babies she must use a sanitary robe and follow all the applicable hygienic and sanitary guidelines.

The dressing room for baby also has specific conditions to meet; one of them is that there should be no drafts and that the changing table should be placed to avoid exposure to the open air.

The baby room is conceived for children from birth until they are 12 months of age. This is because of the stage of development that in this age ends with the crisis of the first year of life. In some countries it has been observed that the children between 12 and 18 months are still considered babies and their classroom is organized in the same way, which is a serious technical mistake that delays the development of these children since their program also considers them babies.

The child between 12 and 18 months has special attributes that are different from the baby and requires different program and organization conditions. Only in this way can his development be properly ensured.

The baby room has a great number of organizational, sanitary and hygienic requirements to meet and they are impossible to list here; it is necessary to consult the sanitary and hygienic guidelines and rulings of the location of the center.

The classrooms for children in their second to sixth year of life have different requirements than the baby room and they are much more open rooms, directly in contact with the setting around them.

These rooms are basically organized according to the age of the children, sometimes a room per age group and in others, according to cycles, and as a consequence, with children of different age groups together. Sometimes, because of low enrollments or because the center is in a location where there are only a few children, there is only a multiple group with children of different ages together.

In any case, there are some common organization guidelines:

•  The furniture should be adequate to the physical and motor characteristics of the children and proportionate to their size.

•  It should be as functional as possible; this implies the possibility of transforming the room for different kinds of activities and group sizes.

•  They should be significant for the children because of their decor and an appropriate source of stimulation, which can be done with different objects.

•  To have an internal distribution of the classroom that enables the organized life of the group, with free space that is not taken up with tables and chairs, corners that can be used (if the curriculum model requires so) shelves and storage areas. In the case of the shelves it is recommended that their height is no more than a meter because if they are higher there is a risk of an accident as they can fall on a child who tries to climb them.

•  Direct access to the outdoor areas.

The sleeping rooms are basically those for children who board in the center, because the center is really for day students, and the siesta can be arranged for in the classroom or nearby areas.

These classroom/bedrooms are organized, as a rule, by ages although sometimes they are organized by sections: babies, early age, older children. Also, as a rule, the staff that serves these areas is not teaching staff but service staff, so the organizational requirements have to be simple but firm and constant.

In the early childhood education centers for boarders, the beds should be personalized, that is, each child should have his own bed that can be identified with an object or toy when the child is not using it, since this helps psychologically to his sense of belonging.

The dorm should be closed during the day because it is to be used only at night, and should be cleaned on a daily basis and prepared for its functions.

The multipurpose room is a room that can have several uses and where activities that do not fit in the classroom can take place. It should be accessible from all the classrooms.

This room should be for several groups at the same time, to listen to music, rehearsals for shows, projections, it should be used to watch videos, have a TV set, a puppet theater and for any other activity that can not be held in a classroom.

Organizationally, the multipurpose room is an important resource to solve a situation requiring extra space, which happens quite often in the daily life of an early childhood education center.

The dressing rooms are small rooms used by parents to change the clothes of their children, although this is often done in the classroom. Generally, they should have direct access to the classroom or bathroom to ease their use. Generally, there is a locker, or shelf to keep the clothes and a bench or chairs for parents to sit down and help their children. However, organizationally, there should be some control to prevent parents from using the chairs or bench for their children to stand on them with their shoes on.

The bathrooms are an area that should be very well organized to fulfill its function in an adequate way.

One of the main questions to consider in the bathrooms is that the sinks and toilets should be adequate to the children's sizes and their motor abilities. This requires, in general a serious anthropometrics study to correlate, as is the case of the showers, the average height of the children with the staff supervising the toilet, especially if they have to be bathed.

There should be chairs in the toilets for the children to sit on so they can help while they are being dressed and undressed, to take off their shoes, etc. which helps to develop their autonomy.

The sinks are generally collective and enable several children to use them at the same time. This requires that the faucets are at a certain height and distance between each other, and that the sink if not too deep to avoid water spilling, another thing that is avoided with the anthropometrics study.

The toilet items such as combs, tooth brushes and towels have to be placed according to the hygiene and sanitary rules, in their corresponding holders for combs, towel holders and brush holders, which should be easily reachable for children for them to select their according to the identification marks on them.

It is important to attach mirrors on the wall at the visual height of the children so that they can observe their toilet and hygienic actions and the results obtained from them.

The bathrooms for this age group should not have any partitions, because the children should have the opportunity to observe their gender differences in a natural setting without any false prudishness. This contributes to their sex education because educators and assistants can respond in a tranquil manner to any curiosity the children may have.

The bathrooms should be placed next to the classroom, especially for the younger children. Toilets for older children can be in other parts of the school but it is more convenient to have them near the classrooms, which is something that should be taken into consideration in the design of the centers.

The halls are usually not considered within the educational work and they are, however very important. The halls connect the various areas of the school and ease the organizational work if they are used in the proper manner.

Sometimes, because of the type of construction, the hall is an arcade in direct contact with the outside areas of the school. A hall is usually roofed and allows for activities for children when there is no outdoor play area, so that the children do not have to be in the classroom all the time. If it is a paved arcade, it can be used when the weather does not allow being outdoors and this way the outdoor play activities of the children are not interrupted.

In some early childhood education enters where the weather permits it, the arcade can be used for the siesta of the children, in a cool area, in direct contact with the natural environment the children can sleep more deeply than in the classroom. Also, it prevents crowding in the classroom when there are several basic activities at the same time, such as toilet and cleaning

In brief, the hall can be conceived as an external open area that enables play and activity without being closed in.

The setting

For all the areas of the early childhood education center there are factors and conditions that should be taken into account and that for their significance can be considered general, among them we have:

•  furniture

•  lighting

•  ventilation

•  color schemes

•  decoration


It has an important significance within the design and organization of the early childhood education center, becoming either an aide or an obstacle for educational work. It can ease the child's activity and at the same time the work of educators and aides. Regarding these last ones, the following are positive aspects of adequate furniture:

•  Allows a better use of their physical activity, saving unnecessary efforts to complete tasks.

•  Fosters the execution of processes according to the established programs, diminishing the possibility of accidents during their implementation.

•  Makes possible the obtention of faster and more effective results in the learning of hygienic and cultural habits of the children.

The furniture of the early childhood education center requires a deep anthropometrics study that assessing different factors, such as height, weigh, morphological conformation among other aspects, both of the children and the staff, determines the size and volume of each of the pieces of furniture and equipment pieces, of the furnishings of the bathrooms, of the mechanical elements of the play areas, the length and height of the cribs and beds, the spaces between their bars, etc.

Although the furniture can be very diverse, there are some considerations for their use and selection:

•  It should respond to the features of the psychological, physical and motor development of the children.

•  It should ease the work of the staff of the early childhood education center.

•  The structures should be light, easy to move and allow for their transformation for the various activities that take place in the centers.

•  They should also be sturdy to endure constant use, with firm colors, no dangerous borders or corners or pieces that can be easily detached.

•  They should not be costly so that they can be easily replaced when needed.

•  There should not be an excessive number of pieces so that classrooms are functional and the furniture does not hinder the development of the activities in each room.

Each room, because of its function has a specific kind of furniture, for example, the principal's office should have one or two small desks, the file to keep information and files, some chairs to receive people, etc. and nothing more as the main task of the principal is not to remain in the office but to control the work done in all the center. The pedagogical center should have a worktable that fosters the collective exchange of all the educators, with shelves to keep the work bibliography and open shelves to place the didactic material, the bulletin board, etc. This way, according to the use given to the classroom, the furniture is placed taking into account the general factors and conditions explained above.

However because of its importance it is worth insisting once more on the furniture of the baby room and the classrooms.

The furniture for the baby room has a close relation with the particularities of development of these children. The area for activities of the babies should have a small area for crawling, which should have a fence with bars placed at 8 cm of each other and a height that allows the baby to place his arms on top of it when standing up. This area is used only when the outside weather conditions do not allow the babies to crawl outdoors and it is only for children who can crawl, stand up or are learning to walk.

The babies' room should have a large playpen for the youngest children who still do not crawl. This playpen is placed well above the ground so that the educators do not have to bend too much when dealing with the babies. The youngest children should be in a separate area, or an individual pen to avoid their being injured by other children.

The child up to 3 months and even a little older is fed while placed on the educator's lap until he can sit down, in which case he is placed on a specially designed table so that he can be fed without falling down.

For children who can be firmly seated and who have begun to walk, there should be one or two small tables that can be used to feed them and to do pedagogical activities.

The sleeping room/dorm should have cribs with the same specifications as to the placement of the bars and should not have any mosquito nets because they block the visibility of the educator and of the child. For those who can walk and are adapting to the next group there should be some beds because it is not advisable for them to sleep in cribs when they are getting ready to move into the next group.

The babies' toilet has many sanitary regulations and requires specific furniture such as a deposit for diapers and other dirty clothes, lined with a disposable plastic bag that should be replaced every time it is full, a place to hold potties, one per child, a shelf with clean clothes and another with towels, linen and other materials for the children.

The outdoor crawling area should have a low piece of furniture with no corners to allow children to hold on to it when standing up, a ramp and staircase for independent motor activity and a low piece of furniture with wheels for children to push and move it, which is a motor exercise and improves their independent walking.

It is indispensable to have a bulletin board in the baby room for the timetables of the different groups, a listing of all the children with their birthdays and other facts that can be of interest for the educational work.

The furniture of the classrooms for older children, from the second to the sixth year of life is in close relation with the curriculum model adopted, but there are general things to be pointed out that are usually common for many educational projects. Among these considerations there are:

Frequently great importance is given to tables and chairs in these groups, that remind of a school setting. While it is true that some are necessary, a few of them are enough and they should be irregularly distributed in the classroom to meet their function. If it is not possible to use the hall or outdoor area, and the activities have to take place in the classroom, not all the children have to be seated at a table, some can sit on rugs or use another piece of furniture to work on.

More chairs and tables are needed when the process of feeding takes place in the classroom, but they can be brought in when needed.

The educator should have a small worktable with some drawers to keep her working utensils, avoiding the classical teacher's desk.

The working materials of the classroom should be kept in a closet but if the construction of the center is such that it prevents from having closets, dark and heavy armoires should be avoided as they are a potential risk of accident. The same way, if there is no closet to hold the beds for the children, they should be kept in a different area, such as the dressing room.

The shelves of the classroom must be open and low to allow children to take and place objects, materials, toys, things they use for activities, etc.

The play corners can be permanent or assigned every day according to the assumed curriculum model. in any case, their shelves should be easy to move by the children and simple to transform.

The wall of the classroom should have a board that reflects the timetable of the group and other data of educational interest as well as hooks or other items to hang the children's work, drawings or clay models.

In brief, the furniture for the older groups should be simple, light, exchangeable and functional, allowing the classroom to have good open space for the most diverse activities.

The lighting of the classrooms should preferably be natural, and the design of the early childhood education center should contemplate the possibility of allowing the entry of natural light into the classrooms. In the cases where it is necessary to use artificial light which should always be available for dark and cloudy days, this should be as similar as possible to natural light and diffuse to avoid eye fatigue provoked by other kinds of lights.

The baby room should have large windows that allow the entry of natural light but the conditions of isolation from the outdoor areas to prevent the entrance of germs and other vectors make it necessary to use artificial lights.

In the classrooms for older groups it is important to avoid darkness during the work sessions in the classroom because the lack of light is very harmful for the visual receiver of the children that is in the stage of maturation.

Ventilation should also be natural, and the design of the center should contemplate the adequate space orientation to make it possible to have the positive action of the air in the setting but it is important to avoid drafts especially in the dressing rooms of the children.

In warm countries, natural ventilation is usually accompanied by artificial ventilation, with the use of fans that should preferably be placed on the ceiling to provide a more stable circulation of the air. In some centers the classrooms are air-conditioned, especially the baby room to make the heat more bearable, because sometimes it is very hot. While air conditioning can be a resource to achieve well-being in the classroom, it cannot become a means of isolating the classroom from the natural setting.

The color scheme. The use of color in the early childhood education center is very important and sometimes adults do not consider it in the educational work with children in this age group; that is why it deserves a deep study of its particularities in the development of this work.

Color is present in almost all the activities of the human being and the studies conducted on it have demonstrated the great influence that colors have on the development and results of the activity at the same time that have evidenced all its value. The fact that color has such significant influences on human activity makes their use in the early childhood education center a key element as they have particular significance on the psychic processes of the children since their visual analyzer is in the stage of maturation and formation.

The physical qualities of color define its effect on the human body at the same time that color has specific physiological and psychological effects that have also to be taken into account, particularly with very young children.

This is how the colors exert an influence on the different physiological and functional processed of the body at the same time that they act producing parallel to the visual sensation psychological experiences and other space illusions. For the center of early childhood education, color cannot be used at random, but in a rational and scientific use of the same which implies indications for its use in the building, the various areas and the outdoor areas,

The use of color in the outdoor areas of the early childhood education center

When considering the practical application of color in the outdoor areas of the building, two main aspects have to be taken into account: on one side, the physical properties and the effects of color on the human body and on the other, the local geographic conditions of the place where the early childhood education center is located.

As a general rule, on the great surfaces, very strong and saturated colors should be avoided, since they crash with aesthetic criteria and they also provoke visual and nervous fatigue for the difficulty to adapt to those colors. Therefore, it is not possible to paint a large outdoors wall dark red, orange or bright yellow or another such color.

However, it is known that colors with a high reflection index produce happier, cleaner, adequate environments, than those with low reflection indexes. Despite this, this should not be taken to the extreme, since many colors can dazzle and, consequently, irritate or damage the visual analyzer. The eyes of children possess very immature structures when they are born and their total possibilities of adaptation and visual accommodation are acquired over a length of time. Therefore, it is important to avoid dazzling colors that can be extremely harmful. However, if the weather is very hot, the use of colors with low reflection indexes, as they absorb more solar energy, can result in extremely hot rooms for the children.

Then, what to do? What should be done is to establish an adequate combination of both aspects, so that while obtaining a maximum comfort in the inside of the building, by using a color with a high reflection index outside, it is not harmful when receiving in full the sun rays.

It is well known that white is the coolest color because it is the one that absorbs the least energy. It is not casual, then that the space suits are white since they absorb less solar energy and various radiations, giving more protection to the user than any other color. However, pure white has a very high reflection index 80% or even more) that results extremely dazzling, besides being excessively cold, if it is not mixed with red, yellow or orange. Therefore it is advisable to avoid pure white for the outside paint and that a range of white with lower reflection indexes is chosen.

The solution is to choose colors that while close to white, are cool and do not have such a high reflection index, such as pale colors. In the following table there are some colors recommended for the outside color and that range from 50 to 75% of reflection index. That is the most adequate for the buildings of the early childhood education centers:

Nature of the paint

Reflection index

Aged white


Pale cream




Pale beige


Pale yellow


Light ochre


Nile green


Light green


Pale chamois


Light blue


Pale blue



This does not mean that outdoor color should be just of one of these colors that are given as an example since the recommended range is between 50 and 75 % as there is a vary wide range of colors. The full rage can be consulted on the Ostwall, Munsell or C.I.C. color tables.

The outside walls should exclude brown because it is very depressing, pink because it is very hot and colors such as violet or black that have an extremely low reflection index. However, these forbidden colors on large surfaces can be useful in small areas, to create pleasant contrasts, on small motifs, bands, etc.

But, before we had mentioned that the local geographic conditions are also an aspect that has to be considered in the selection of colors to which we have to add the particular conditions of urbanization. In this sense, the center of early childhood education cannot be considered just an isolated building that does not take into account the context surrounding it, which can determine that a color may not be a good choice because of the rest of the buildings around it, because it may crash with them.

It may also be the case that it is necessary to use pure white because the early childhood education center may be placed in an area where the surrounding buildings create a negative setting and the building may need the maximum coolness and lighting.

The color scheme of the interior of the center

Generally speaking, the indoor color scheme follows the same guidelines than the exterior one, but with specifications according to the use of the different areas.

This excludes the same colors that have been excluded for the outdoor areas, except for white for the ceilings, which is very advisable because it spreads the light and cools the environment.

The interior colors present questions that were not significant on the outside, or new aspects that require special analysis. One of them refers to the idea that the walls in an early childhood education center should have a darker lower half because the children tend to soil it and the darker colors hide these spots. This is not only a mistake in the use of color but also a pedagogical mistake. Walls should always be of light color without shades, to encourage children to be cleaner and more careful and it is the duty of the educator to teach them to be so, and not to hide dirt by using a dark color on the walls. On the other hand, when noticing dirt on the walls, it should be cleaned immediately, which has a positive result on the hygiene of the institution.

On the other hand, vertical dual colors forces the visual analyzer to constantly accommodate, especially in the case where two colors with opposite reflection indexes are used. For these same reasons, the use of horizontal dual colors, that is the use of two colors in horizontal direction, is equally harmful in educational institutions for young children. Lastly, it should be remembered that the colors should always be mate and not shiny.

From this point of view it is recommended to use aqua green, light blue, coral, pale green or yellow and shades derivated from them. Halls should be painted with generally bright colors but there should not be a strong contrast, light blue is a god choice as it gives a feeling of spatial width.

Since the classrooms are used as dorms, dining halls and some times for activities, the color selected for them should be adequate for all these purposes.

Based on the criteria that the child should be outside most of the time and that the classroom is only used to sleep and eat and when the weather prevents outdoor activities, they should be painted light blue or light green, because of their tranquilizing effect. Blue is an appropriate color for bedrooms because it induces sleep. Because of this effect it is not an adequate choice for a classroom of older children, which should be light green, or a shade of yellow. The best color for the board is dark green and a yellow chalk should be used at all times.

Central dining halls should be painted orange or a shade of it, such as peach or chamois, and even the doors should be painted a shade of orange. This is the only place of the early childhood education center can have such a warm color.

The kitchen should avoid warm colors and any kind of texture on the walls. It should be a pale color such as ivory, light blue, pastel gray, etc. including the shelves and pantries and other furniture

The doctor's office, because it is so emotionally charged for children, should be always green or light blue.

The principal's office should be painted in a color that fosters dynamism and activity. This excludes light blue or green because they are sleep inducers. Therefore it should be light yellow, beige, cream or a shade of them.

The pedagogical room should be done in a neuter color to avoid distractions and foster intellectual activity. The recommended color is pale gray, although ivory or a similar shade may be acceptable. Gray can be livened up with toys and materials. The shelves however, should also be a plain color such as ivory, beige or chamois.

The bathrooms are usually cool and damp and cold colors add to this sense of coolness increasing the children's sense of rejection, Therefore it is counter indicated to use green or blue in the bathrooms, choosing instead pink or yellow that add warmth to these rooms.

All the carpentry of the center, frames, windowsills, etc, should contrast with the wall they are on. This is especially important to highlight them so that children can easily see them thus avoiding running into them.

In summary, all the colors with low indexes of reflection should be excluded from the indoor color scheme of the building although they may sometimes be included in small details, pleasant to see.

The previous recommendations must be followed to ensure that the use of color indoors and outdoors in the early childhood education center are adjusted to what is scientifically correct so that it is not a harmful element for the health and development of the child.

Graphics and drawing in the outer walls of the early childhood education center.

The study of the color recommendations for graphics or drawings on the outer walls of the building should focus on two important aspects: one concerns the aesthetic and decoration function of the drawings and the other, the main one, their educational function. Both factors have to be assessed when deciding, although because we are talking about an educational center, the educational value should prevail over any other consideration.

As a general rule, both aspects usually coincide when they obey scientifically verified principles.

However on the outer decoration, aesthetic aspects have more value as the educational function is more limited than when used indoors. This obeys to the fact that outdoor graphics are generally, a fixed stimulation and it looses any educational possibility with time, as it stops being perceived by humans. Thus, any graphic or drawing that is painted on an outside wall should be painted over regularly or it will go unnoticed.

On the other hand, the height at which these graphics are places prevents the young child from seeing them.

Although these factors limit the educational function of these graphics, they do have some influence as stimulation on the individuals, even when not interiorized, and therefore, it is necessary to study them.

For outdoor graphics, the color follows the same guidelines as for the outdoor walls. When the motif takes over a large section of the wall, the colors selected for it should match the established limits for large surfaces.

The figures used for outdoor decoration should be simple and easily recognizable by the child, eliminating extreme abstractions that can only be recognized by adults but not by children, who could attach the wrong meaning to them.

Thus, the use of little boats, flowers, etc. of easily recognizable design is acceptable for outdoor decoration. It is important to avoid overcrowding these designs, which should be kept simple at all times.

Interior graphics

The use of graphics for interior decoration should be far more careful as they have a higher educational value.

Any drawing or graphic used should be changeable and should be replaced periodically to vary the stimulation it provides.

Generally speaking, they follow the same specifications for outdoor decorations. Overcrowding should be avoided and the colors selected should match those of the indoor color scheme, avoiding clashes.

The baby's room should not have any drawings or graphics on its walls as the visual analyzer of the children is not yet developed and they would not serve any specific function at the same time forcing a more direct and closer stimulation by the educator by direct contact with objects and emotional communication.

In older groups it is possible to use these graphics and drawings, always using things that can be dismounted or changed and, as is known, they could be of easily recognizable animals, simple nature scenes and, for older children, children's art or famous paintings that can be easily recognized and understood by children. All abstract or stylized work should be avoided.

In certain cases, and under adequate conditions, it is possible to have in a large clear wall a landscape painting on which small figures can be attached or mounted to aid in the representation of well-known children's stories. The landscape should only contain basic elements avoiding too many things since the main interest should be the attachable figures.

The mechanical play elements in the outdoor areas

The use of color on play elements such as swings, slides, dollhouses and others should help attract the attention of children and encourage them to use them, at the same time that they provide a pleasant contrast with the rest of the facilities. The choice of colors can also serve as a warning of possible risks for staff and children. For example, handles steps, banisters, and borders should be painted of brighter colors than the rest of the device, with more pale colors for the rest of the body of the device.

Finally, it should be said that these are general considerations for the selection of color schemes for the center of early childhood education and they do not intend to constrain the decisions to the colors used as examples. This means that within the limits given there are enough possibilities for creativity and plurality of shades and tones.

Each early childhood education center, each unit is an entity in itself and before deciding on colors there should be a geographical, urban and particular analysis of each building to assist in the decision. This will avoid considering these principles as static and prevent from using designs in a serialized manner for all the early childhood education centers.

Lastly, it must be pointed out that the application of color in the institution demands a multilateral approach that is not the exclusive domain of designers or architects but also includes educators and psychologists, because color is not only important from the physical point of view but also from the psychological and physiological viewpoints.


The decoration of the early childhood education enter plays an important role and therefore, its design and orientation require a very deep study since it affects all the spheres of work and life in the institution. Decoration is not only a matter of design it is directly linked with the formation of artistic taste and the aesthetic formation of the children. The aesthetic conditions of the early childhood education center have great important for the objectives of aesthetic education.

The center where the decoration of the play areas is well organized and the classrooms have been tastefully decorated has met the conditions for aesthetic education.

The aesthetics of the way of life lead to the education of the artistic taste of the children who depend on the taste of the educator as the child is in constant relation with her. Her points of view about beauty and its assessment exert great influence on the children and the relations they have with it.

The feelings of joy and satisfaction felt when observing beautiful things play an important role in the development of artistic taste.

In daily life these elemental feelings come up constantly due to the harmonious combination of colors in clothes, paintings on the walls, decoration items, the beautiful shape of an object, they all provide aesthetic satisfaction elementary but complete.

Under the influence of what is aesthetic, children first have a direct emotional feeling and later a more aware attention to the decoration of the classrooms and they analyze and establish links between aesthetic phenomena and develop the capacity to see and value what is truly beautiful.

The requisites for the artistic decoration of the early childhood education center are determined by the following tasks:

•  The protection of life and strengthening of the child's health

•  The content of the educational work

•  The tasks of artistic development

These activities are closely linked and complete each other. For example: order and cleanliness do not only meet the hygienic demands they also respond to aesthetic demands.

Therefore the center should provide comfort, facilitate play and children's activities and, also develop adequate aesthetic patterns.

It is important that the spaces where children stroll are artistically decorated, knowing how to combine beauty of nature with the decoration of the center.

Classrooms should be decorated with paintings, sculptures, flower vases, and other items, always taking into account the age of the children, the color scheme and the content and form of the objects. Works of art play a fundamental role in the decoration of an early childhood education center; they are not only a decoration they contribute to the appreciation of aesthetic beauty.

For example, paintings should be bigger than 50 x 30 cm and placed at the height of the children. They should be paintings of local artist or internationally famous painters. They should be changed often to keep the interest of the children alive.

Bulletin boards should be made of wood without any borders or paper decorations that are anti aesthetic and anti hygienic and take away the attention of viewers from the main items.

Another important factor of the decoration of the early childhood education center is that it should help children become familiar with the elements of their folklore, thus it is necessary to choose plants, paintings and art objects keeping in mind this factor


The hygienic conditions refer to a complex system of factors that influence directly or indirectly immediately or not on the adequate realization of the teaching process, and that contribute to maintaining the health of the children creating a proper setting for their activity.

From this point of view the hygienic conditions of an early childhood education center contribute to the harmonious and normal development of the children, to strengthen their health and increase their work capacity.

This way when dealing with hygiene it is not only for the maintenance of hygienic and sanitary conditions that provide a healthy environment, free of germs and other harmful agents but also of the process of teaching and educating. Thus, while the first concept is closely linked to the decoration and aesthetics of the early childhood education center, the second is linked with the educational work and its organization.

Hygienic factors are linked with the fostering of an adequate work capacity of the children that is, the possibility to do a physical and intellectual task so as to accomplish a proposed objective, spending only a given amount of energy. The use of energy should be minimal when there are adequate hygienic conditions.

This work capacity is determined at all times by the interaction of several physiological physical and psychological factors.

The physiological factors that influence the work capacity are age, sex, health condition, food, general workload and rest of the human body.

The physical factors have already been analyzed, such as light, sound, temperature, furniture and structure of the center of early childhood education.

Among the psychological factors we can mention the mood, motivation, interests, aptitudes, etc.

All these factors intervene constantly in more or less degree in the learning process and determine the dynamics of the work capacity of the child. If these factors are not taken into account there will be difficulties in the normal variations of the work capacity that can provoke damages in health, diminishing intellectual performance, etc.

A directly linked aspect is fatigue. Fatigue is a defense mechanism of the body that is present when the nervous cells reach their functional limit, which determines their inhibition. When the process of fatigue begins, the work capacity diminishes as a consequence of the inhibiting action that preserves neurons from an unfavorable activity that mar be harmful.

The children in this age group get tired very quickly and are not ready to overcome fatigue, mainly because they are immature. Therefore, at the first symptom of fatigue, their work capacity decreases, their behavior becomes disorganized and altered, their mood is affected and they become irritable. There is little attention and they cannot concentrate on anything, becoming sleepy and uncoordinated, and sometimes, crying.

The correct organization of the educational process and the full satisfaction of the basic needs of these children are important conditions to avoid fatigue, as well as the use of adequate teaching methods.

For these children, it is necessary to provide an ample active rest period with play and free activities. Recreation contributes to reactivate their body and return their capacity of work. Daytime and nighttime sleep provide functional recovery.

Maintaining health is a key point to guarantee the work capacity and mental performance according to their age, that is why it is necessary to preserve a healthy environment, free of tensions and harmful factors. This is possible with proper sanitary conditions free of the possibility of accidents.

Adequate hygienic and sanitary conditions are not only a health issue but also an aesthetic pleasure. When the surroundings are clean and ordered, they bring about internal satisfaction and pleasure at first sight but they also form habits because children will imitate and act accordingly.

The educational project has to be organized in such a way as to foster hygienic conditions on the early childhood education center to foster a favorable environment for the activity of the child, maintain his health and his performance capacity, both physical and mental