Organising your child care furniture is a good way to keep certain areas separate. Under the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF), child care centres and preschools promote play-based learning. Its outcomes include children developing into effective communicators and engaged learners. They can do this anywhere, but having an organised environment definitely helps.
When you’re planning out the interior, you want room for the kids to move but not to run. It’s good they’ve got energy to spare, but not in an enclosed environment. People run into things, tip things over, and get injured. Lay out a play mat so there’s room for ‘creative arts’ like singing and dancing; enough standing room for the kids, but not too large for them to run and hurt themselves.
Arranging your child care furniture creates boundaries the kids must follow. It’s ideal to make space for quiet reading, for arts and crafts, right through to creative and role play. Some tables and chairs make the arts and crafts area; a book cubby with some mats and soft foam seats create the reading space. It’s important to have various but useful resources available in one space, a reading area needs books of different genres and types (picture, full text, fiction, and nonfiction, for example).
Kids will sit in these places alone if they want, but it’s common for them to make small groups among themselves. The EYLF says small group play allows kids to voice their own opinions while respecting those of others and make personal connections easily. Child care centres are environments where children make friends in a cubby, a sandpit, or during play time in general.
Organising your child care furniture a certain way serves a dual purpose. Centre owners segregate areas so they serve a certain purpose and children learn the importance of boundaries. They don’t take their paints from arts and crafts into the reading area, and they know to walk, not run, because there’s no room for it.