Early Years Environment

The physical environment of an early years care and education facility is very critical to its program. Young children grow, develop, and learn best in a nurturing environment where they feel safe, cognitively challenged, motivated, empowered, and emotionally connected. We believe that the environment gives important messages and cues to children as they explore it daily. It is important that educators are aware of how and what their learning and caring environments “speaks” to young children. The organization of space can affect the behavior of people in it, and influence the learning and well-being of children.

Therefore, early years educators must consider how to organize space and
equipment to support and promote the developmental needs of infants, toddlers, and young children in a comfortable, safe, and inviting learning and caring environment.


  1. Understand the effect of the environment on young children’s learning and well-being.
  2. Acquire the skills to design, organize, and modify an enabled, responsive, and culturally sensitive environment that supports children’s holistic development.
  3. Understand regulated requirements and policies; and quality indicators for group care setting.
  4. Understand the key features and essential elements in the various defined learning and caring spaces to support group care; meet individual child’s developmental needs; foster children’s exploration and play; to promote competence and emotional well-being of children.
  5. Design and select developmentally appropriate and culturally diverse furniture, fixtures, equipment, learning materials, and playthings.
  6. Be aware of the potential environmental risks and hazards.
  7. Examine the role of the educator in planning and providing a responsive and culturally sensitive environment for young children in a group care setting.