Early Childhood Facilities Design InstituteSM

Kansas City, Missouri

This course can be provided on-site, either with a group or individually

This Institute provides a place where early childhood practitioners can learn about creating high-quality, developmentally appropriate indoor and outdoor learning environments for young children. Through the institute, participants will learn a new vocabulary as they expand their understanding about exciting and affordable places for young children.

Since our 1st Institute in June 2003, we have trained hundreds of colleagues. Click here to learn what previous participants said about the Institute.

Participants in the June 2005 Early Childhood Facilities Design Institute.

Event Schedule

Day One, 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Participants will learn the basic principles of planning indoor childcare, Head Start and Early Head Start environments. The emphasis will be on how to let the curriculum, children's needs and staff needs drive the design process. Sample topics will include:

  • Site and building assessment
  • Optimum group and center size
  • Individualizing design for infants/toddlers and preschool children
  • Understanding the design process
  • Working with architects and designers
  • Negotiating contracts
  • Creating high quality spaces
  • Role of culture in design
  • The American's with Disabilities Act

Day Two, 8:30 AM - 2:30 PM
Participants will learn how to design and renovate outdoor play space using nature as part of the play element. The emphasis will be on creating interesting and high quality outdoor environments. Sample topics will include:

  • Outdoor site assessment
  • Understanding the steps involved in construction or renovation
  • The American's with Disabilities Act
  • CPSC and ASTM standards
  • Looking at why children need nature
  • Design considerations for outdoor spaces
  • Master planning
  • Cost estimation

Graduate Credit & Illinois Director Credit
For an additional fee of $250, the Design Institute has been approved for one-hour of graduate credit from National Louis University Early Childhood Education Program in Wheeling, Illinois. The course is named ECE 544 Early Childhood Environments: Design and Facilities Management. The ECE 544 course also meets the criteria for coursework approved for the Illinois Director Credential (IDC). National Louis University is the home of the Center for Early Childhood Leadership. More information about the program can be found at http://www3.nl.edu/academics/nce/degreecert.cfm.

Continuing Education Credit
The class is available for continuing education credit from Johnson County Community College in Kansas.


Vicki Stoecklin has a Master's Degree and twenty-six years experience in early childhood education. For the last eight years she has been doing design work for young children. Her design articles have been published in Early Childhood News and Child Care Information Exchange. She has presented on this topic at the National Head Start Conference, The National Campus Child Care Coalition Annual Conference, The International Education Facilities Planners Conference, The National Child Care Association Conference, The National Head Start Facilities Conference and The National Association for the Education of Young Children Conference.

Greg Finkle, AIA, is an architect with over 19 years experience in the design field. He has designed buildings for children of all ages. His area of interest is designing quality environments for children.

Amy Nichols, IIDA, ASID is an interior designer with over 10 years experience in designing interior environments of all types for children and families. Her area of interest is colors and space planning.

Douglas Pickert, Landscape Architect, has extensive experience in designing outdoor environments for children. His expertise includes both design and installation of plant material.

Randy White has extensive national and international experience designing children's environments. He has won numerous design awards for his design work in the children's leisure industry and is an advocate for universal design, quality acoustics and natural daylighting.

Information on Scheduling the Institute

Contact Vicki Stoecklin at +1.816.931-1040, ext 102, or via e-mail.