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Preschool Program Guidance & Materials
GUIDELINES FOR PRESCHOOL FACILITIES (taken from N.J.A.C. 6A:26)
NJ DOE Division of Early Childhood Education
In-District and Provider Facilities
Design and Construction of school facilities housing preschool students
- Both the indoor and outdoor preschool space shall be safe, clean, attractive and spacious so that children are not crowded, (N.J.A.C.6A:26-6.4).
- 950 net square feet of classroom space shall be provided for each former Abbott classroom (N.J.A.C. 6A:26-3.11 (b) & 6A:26-6.4 (h)) as follows;
- 750 square feet total (50 square feet per child) of usable space per child shall be provided that is free and open and excludes storage and major pieces of equipment and built in furnishings (N.J.A.C. 6A:26-6.4). "Usable" space includes materials and pieces of equipment that are easily movable.
- 150 square feet of storage for equipment and furnishings that are either built in or not easily movable
- 50 square feet of an attached toilet roomthat is accessible to students with physical disabilities (N.J.A.C. 5:23-7) built to meet the needs of young children, identified for their exclusive use and barrier free in design as per N.J.A.C. 5:23-7.
Preschool classrooms shall be no higher than the second floor of a school facility (NJAC 6A:26-6.4 (h)(2) and shall not be located in the basement.
- Preschool children must have direct access to a developmentally appropriate playground.
- There shall be 100 square feet per child of outdoor play space for each child using that space at one time (N.J.A.C. 6A:26-6.4d)
- Surface areas should include soil, sand, grass, hills, and a large flat surface for wheeled toys.
- Outdoor areas should also have some protection from the elements.
For Community Providers, the requirements shall supplement but not supplant the Manual of Requirements mandated by the Office of Licensing in the Department of Human Services for community provider licensure. Some of the above requirements exceed those of the Manual of Requirements in which case the requirements of the above section shall apply.
The district board of education shall ensure that all existing contracted private provider and local Head Start agency preschool programs have met these requirements:
- All existing contracted provider space that did not meet the 950 square feet per classroom was grandfathered in with at least–525 square feet per classroom (35 square feet per child).
- 50 square feet of an attached toilet room – waivers considered for at least 1 toilet facility and sink on each floor level used by children
Any changes to the physical space or location of contracted private providers or local Head Start preschool classrooms require approval from the school district and shall meet the space requirements established above.