Daycares were developed during the industrial revolution. Their main purpose was to provide a safe place for the children of a growing labor force to be looked after during long work days. While the purpose of daycare has not changed much, the social, pedagogical, and even physical structure of daycare has evolved in significant ways.
Most daycare centers were not originally designed to serve the needs of children. In fact, many are often retail, office, or home environments adapted to this use. But even with extensive renovations, these spaces aren’t conducive to supporting children’s growth.
That’s why room dividers are such an important tool in designing the right place for children. Creating a good flow for the space and encouraging certain behaviors through the interior architecture of the space can improve outcomes and help you operate the daycare smoothly.
The importance of daycare
Daycare exists primarily for children to be supervised while their parents or guardians are away. But it’s also a place for children to learn essential skills. They provide a place to grow, learn, and socialize.
Without daycare, young children would likely miss out on these early developmental experiences. This can have a lasting impact on their social skills and learning abilities.
They are so important that over 12 million children in the US depend on them. And with the number of single-parent families and two working-parent households growing, the need for affordable childcare is constantly growing.
So if you’re looking to upgrade your existing daycare space or start your own daycare business, you might be wondering how to design it to raise the planet’s next generation.
One way to improve the performance of your space and serve the needs of children is through the use of room dividers. Screens and partitions offer a functional, affordable and flexible solution for any daycare environment.
Ways to use room dividers for your daycare space
With hundreds of ways to arrange the dividers to fit your space, there’s plenty of ways to use room dividers in your daycare.
Contain the spread of germs
Kids spread germs constantly by touching each other and objects in their environment. They drool, sneeze, share snacks and usually don’t wash their hands. This all creates the perfect environment for germs to spread.
Babies, toddlers, and preschoolers get about seven to eight colds a year. Fortunately, toddlers bounce back pretty quickly from the common cold, meaning they’ll be back in the main daycare space in no time. While hand washing and cleaning surfaces is the best way to prevent the spread of germs, room dividers offer a way to separate kids into groups and limit the potential spread of germs.
Let the dreamers dream
It is no secret that children need a lot of sleep. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends children between the ages of one and three need to sleep between 11 to 14 hours each day, including naps. Children between three and five years old need up to 13 hours of rest!
The answer to this challenge is modular room dividers. These can be used to set up an area for kids to nap, change, or take a break.
They are the perfect spatial solution for your daycare center and encourage kids to get a proper amount of sleep.
Rest is vital to a child’s growth and development. Healthy sleep patterns improve attention span, behavior, learning efficiency, memory, and more.
It's so important that most states require a designated rest period for full-time daycare centers. And depending on the ages in your daycare center, you may have kids that never want to nap or some that only want to nap.
Room dividers are a great way for children to sleep soundly without being in a separate room. Kids can sleep soundly on one side of the divider while others play and socialize on the other side.
Separate infants and toddlers
If your daycare business welcomes kids of varying ages, you know how important it is to keep them separate.
Toddlers don’t often know their own strength. And depending on the size of your play area, it might not be safe to have infants and toddlers playing together. In addition to physical differences, children have varying attention spans and interests.
Separate spaces for activities can improve concentration and enable you to really tailor the spaces to the activities.
Create a sense of privacy
Because families have different views on privacy, it’s nearly impossible to know what level of privacy children are comfortable with. But if you don’t have a convenient space for them to change or use the bathroom, you’ll certainly find out!
The most reasonable approach is to create a separate space for children to do what they usually do privately at home. Not to mention, parents will have peace of mind knowing that their children's needs are being met with a sensitivity to their own culture and preferences.
Make a pop-up changing room
Messes happen, especially with young children. Assuming parents drop off their child with spare clothes, it’s better for everyone to help them change in a private room.
And if there’s not a bathroom nearby, or it’s currently occupied, a separate changing room will do the trick.
Or a private room for potty training
Most kids start potty training between the ages of 18 and 24 months. But many are never fully potty trained until the age of 3 or 4.
Potty training isn’t the most glamorous part of growing up, but it is essential to a child’s development. To avoid any embarrassment (and messes), daycares should have a separate room or space for potty training.
Build a dedicated room for reading & school work
Reading and learning can be difficult for children of all ages, especially in a noisy daycare environment. There are so many stimuli – it’s hard to concentrate on just one thing. Create a dedicated quiet space for these kinds of activities so kids can read and learn uninterrupted, only a few feet away from play time.
Show off creativity
Room dividers don’t have to be boring. There’s no limit to the amount of ways you can divide your room with different colors, patterns, and designs. Proper stimulation in the right environment can improve your baby's curiosity, attention span, memory, and nervous system development. In addition, babies who are stimulated reach developmental milestones faster, have better muscle coordination, and a more secure self image.
Store clutter elsewhere
Tired of storing toys and other supplies in the corner? Create a makeshift storage area or simply wall off that busy corner, keeping those items separate from the main space.
Benefits of room dividers for daycare
From limiting the volume of screaming and crying children to separating infants and toddlers, room dividers bring several things to the (kids) table.
Control the sound
Daycare can be loud. With screaming and crying echoing throughout, it can be hard to even hear yourself think. Acoustic partitions offer a solution unlike any other. Divide your open space into multiple areas for sleeping, playing, learning, and changing, each with a volume level that you can control.
Improve focus & concentration
With so many stimuli, kids often find it difficult to focus on any one thing. Visual and acoustic dividers help capture their attention and channel their energy to the task at hand.
Create a safe space
A growing number of children face anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues. And oftentimes, a quiet space is the only thing that helps them deal with these emotions. With portable dividers, you can quickly create a safe space for them to rest, cry, or just be in their own space.
Kids express themselves in so many ways – facial expressions, body language, behavior, and even their play style. Oftentimes though, they don’t know how to express their feelings.
Fortunately, creative activities stimulate mental growth in children, enabling them to try new ideas, think differently, and problem solve on their own.
For children to be their most creative selves, they must do so in an environment that’s suited for them. So whether that’s playing with others, creating art, or redesigning the shape of the modular divider, there needs to be options.
Separate daycare from your home
If you operate a home daycare business, you have to separate the space from the rest of your home. You don’t want your modern interior cluttered with toys, books, or anything else. Plus, there are plenty of safety reasons why the two areas should be separate.
Instead of renovating a spare bedroom or hanging up a flimsy curtain, build a stylish, temporary wall to divide the rooms. You won’t break the bank or be forced to endure lengthy and costly renovations..
Easy to set up
One of the greatest benefits of room dividers is that they’re easy to set up.
Quickly create a portable room for changing, napping, or reading in just minutes. And if you need to move them throughout the day, don’t worry – their lightweight, portable frame makes it easy to do it by yourself.
Are room dividers a good idea?
If you’re a care provider looking to start a home daycare business or transform your existing space, you can’t go wrong with portable room dividers.
With so many different applications and benefits, they’re a no brainer. Help curious children thrive in a safe space, with separate spaces for their needs.. And the best part is, with room dividers you can change the layout of your daycare to fit your needs whenever you want.