All churches want to grow their ministries. To do that, it’s important to think ahead of time when creating a church building design, whether you’re starting a new church from scratch or remodeling an existing structure.
This is especially true when planning expansion of the children’s areas of your church. Whether you will have 20 children or 200, you want to carefully plan the size of your children’s spaces so your ministry to kids and their families can meet the needs of your church’s vision.
Church Building Design and Children’s Spaces: Do the Math
It’s intuitive that the amount of space you need for children depends a lot on their age. But how much is needed for each age range is the question? Starting with the youngest children first, from 0 to18 months, you need 25-30 square feet per child. The space you will be creating will basically need to function as a nursery.
The size of the room itself is therefore dependent on how many kids you want to have in your nursery. More children may require multiple rooms. You might put 10-15 children in a room, or even 20 if you have a large church. That’s somewhere between 375 and 600 square feet per room.
But if you expect your church to meet changing needs, you also don’t want to end up with too many different nursery rooms, which require more volunteers to staff and may take space away from other children areas. These are some reasons why it’s so important to think ahead.
The older children get, the less space you need per child. For children from toddler up to 5 years old, 25-30 square feet per little one is a good standard. For grade-school-aged children, you really only need 20-25 square feet per child, and you can also put more children in the same room. Older children need even less room, and you probably want to plan on just one room for each of your different youth groups.
You will also want your church building design to incorporate outdoor space devoted to children. Make sure it’s fenced in, and a good general rule of thumb is to provide 50-60 square feet of outdoor space for each child who will be in the playground at the same time.
To Operate a School, You’ll Need to Get Educated
If there’s any chance that your church will operate a daycare or school down the road, this changes the space requirements.
Every state has its own specific codes, so you will need to find out what your state requires. Most states require 30-35 square feet per child—which is more than the church-use suggestions we made above. You also need to know whether your state counts the entire space, or if you need to subtract the space taken up by the teacher’s desk and other equipment in the room.
But Wait … There’s More
You’ll find information like this and plenty more helpful tips in our free i3 webinars. So sign up today to learn more about creating the best possible church building design or renovation project for growing your ministry.