Published in Australia in 2004, Kid's Spaces: Architecture for Children provides examples of design for children, including furniture, retail, hospital and relevant to my research, day-care.
The book includes examples of early learning centres from around the world:
Houtoku Kindergarten: Iwaki City, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan - Environment Design Institute
Organised around a concept of family inclusion, the kindergarten in run by a local Buddhist community. The architects worked closely with the community to understand the requirements, and to devise the best design for the new kindergarten and school building. Modeled on the concept of a village, the design features a playground square and a planting/farm area.
Nonaka Preschool: Fujinomiya City, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan - Environment Design Institute
This preschool stands on a hilltop in view of Mt Fuji. A promenade on the north side provides circulation and connects the inner corridor and preschool rooms.
Tsukushi Daycare Centre: Yokohama City, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan - Environment Design Institute
Catering for 60 children, this day care centre has a central courtyard divided into two, with one section for ages under one year; and a section for children aged 2-5 years. A tower play structure in the courtyard faces the road and an air corridor and net play equipment furnish the room for the children aged 3-5 years.
Winnetka Public School Nursery: Winnetka, Illinois, USA - ArchitectureIsFun, Inc. and Michael Evans Landscape Architect.
The Winnetka school takes its inspiration from trains, tracks, and stations. Embodied in the curriculum is the philosophy for each child to strive for his or her potential, therefore the environment is safe, secure and accessible. It is a place where children are free to make choices to become actively involved in decision-making, and to have physical and cognitive experiences out in the 'open'. In the classrooms, children surround themselves with rich and engaging materials. Taking that concept outside, areas such as the musical forest with wind chimes and speaker tubes, the Infinite Loop Tricycle Path with drive-through, the Crazy Box pavilion climbers and the Theme Gardens with their seasonal offerings, were all created to provide interest, challenge and stimulation.
The outdoor environment is an invigorated variant of more traditional, sedate playgrounds seen all over the world. Taking its lead from the strong educational philosophies of the development needs of the children - the children experience nature, science, and art.
Via Google Books.