Physical Environment: A Guide to the NAEYC Early Childhood Program Standard and Related Accreditation Criteria

Sharon Ritchie, Barbara Willer
Item #: 9908
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The physical environment sets the stage and creates the context for everything that happens in any setting?a classroom, a play yard, a multipurpose room. A high-quality environment welcomes children; engages children in a variety of activities; provides space for individual, small-group, and large-group activities; and generally supports the program?s philosophy and goals. Ultimately, the physical environment must convey values and messages about who is welcomed, what is important, and what the beliefs are about how children learn. This resource focuses on NAEYC?s ?Physical Environment? Program Standard; use it to ensure that the physical elements of your program are sending the right messages.


This is one of nine booklets addressing the Standards and Criteria specific to NAEYC Accreditation of early childhood education programs. (To view the other eight titles, search by title for ?accreditation criteria.?) Be advised that if your program enrolls in NAEYC Self-Study (the first step toward Accreditation) it will receive a copy of this booklet, among other resources, as part of the cost of enrollment. For guidance on the self-study and accreditation processes, visit