Resources for Safe Playgrounds

Playgrounds are a fundamental part of the childhood experience and should be safe havens for children. The resources on this page will give designers, directors, and members of an agency's facility planning team technical safety guidelines for designing, constructing and maintaining playgrounds. 


A program’s physical environment supports the quality and quantity of the services it provides. Browse facilities resources that help programs create environments that are conducive to learning.

Tip Sheet on the Bidding Process

Awarding a construction contract using the bid process is based primarily on cost. Program directors and members of the program's facilities planning team can use this resource in their bidding process.

Facilities and Learning Environments

Facilities and Learning Environments reinforce the importance of designing and maintaining all facilities so they actively support children and families in both indoor and outdoor environments. Transportation supports the safe and efficient movement of children from one point to another.

Tip Sheet on Working with Architects

The selection of an architect is based on professional knowledge, experience, and understanding of the specifics of the project. Program staff can use this tip sheet to further their understanding of how to maintain a working relationship with an architect.

[Sample of] Certificate of Substantial Completion Form

During the design phases and during the occupancy phase outstanding construction items noted as punch list items will be listed on a Certificate of Substantial Completion form. This form is used by the chief executive officer of the grantee. This certificate allows the grantee to ensure safe and effective utilization of the structure.

Parent Focus Group Meeting Report Form

Program directors are strongly encouraged to involve parents in the entire planning process for facilities development. Program directors and members of the facilities planning team will find this resource helpful for conducting a parent focus group.

Head Start Design Guide

This guide promotes centers that are safe, child-oriented, and developmentally appropriate. Program directors and management staff will find this guide key to constructing or renovating a child care center.

Trailers and Modular Units

Trailers and modular units that are designed to serve as a dwelling or place of business are considered real property if installed permanently at a given location so as to seem fixed to the land as a permanent structure. Grantees considering using trailers and modular will find this information useful.