How to Design a Day Care Center

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Samantha Thompson

Day care centers need to be designed in a way that meets state regulations and the needs of the children. Several things must be thought of when planning the design. A day care center should be designed in a way that is safe and efficient.

Use a piece of graph paper and a ruler to mark out the area with which you have to work. Let one square on the paper represent one square-foot. If the day care center is 20 feet wide by 40 feet long, you would make a box on the graph paper that was 20 squares wide by 40 squares long. In the empty rectangle on the paper, you will create a floor plan. The floor plan is a big part of the design.

Create the floor plan by determining what rooms you will need and where they should be. A day care center will need one room that is large and open. This will be the main room for the children. It will be where the children play, eat and even rest. The room should be large enough to have in it areas not divided by walls. Use the back of the room for cots and naps, the center part of the room for tables and meals and the front part for play and storage. Use the walls for storage shelves and bin units.

Add at least two bathrooms to the floor plan, along with a kitchen and an office for staff. One of the bathrooms should be placed off of the playroom, so the children have access to it. Another bathroom near the office be for staff use only. A kitchen is a must have in a day care center. It should have a stove, microwave, refrigerator, sink and countertop. The children's meals will be prepared in the kitchen. An office will provide private and organized space for the staff away from the main room . Operating a day care center requires paperwork. Design storage spaces in the office for the staff.

Plan at least two outside entrances. The main door should be on the front of the building and be the main entrance. A back door provides a second fire exit. Plan placement of windows. Each room should have windows for fire exits and to let in light. Ramps and rails must be added into the design to make the day care center handicap accessible if the center will have special-needs children attending. All stairs must have railings, and grip rails should be added for safety in the children's bathroom. Add locations of fire extinguishers to the design.

Double check your design against standards and regulations of your state. Make sure that the building's electrical system will meet code requirements since it will need to pass a codes inspections. Getting to know code regulations is helpful when creating a day care center design.


  • Designing down to the detail makes creating the center as simple as putting it together.


  • Make sure that you include railings on steps, smoke detectors, safe outlets and at least two exits, so your center's design will pass the building inspection once the center is created.