The time has come when child care facilities for many young children involve the major portion of their waking lives. Children and teachers are living together for the entire day, so the learning environment of each classroom is carefully planned and arranged. The rooms are attractive, stimulating, comfortable, safe places for young children to be. Each area has a purpose and teachers constantly evaluate learning activities in each area and rearrange or add new challenges as needs indicate.
Young children react and respond to their environment far more energetically and immediately than an adult. Privacy has a strong relationship to mental health for children and adults in child care centers; constant group interaction can be stressful. An important factor in the consideration of environmental quality is the extent to which the children are crowded. The minimum space requirement in Maryland is 35 square feet per child; DBCC believes the minimum should be 50 square feet per child.