The purpose of the ‘getaway’ spaces is to give children a break from the impact of group life. It does not imply isolation from the group as a punishment. This is a place where one or two children can relax without interference from other children and at the same time be in the line of sight of the teacher and his assistant.
Safe spaces can be created in a variety of ways. A situation is considered unsatisfactory if the children in the group do not have the opportunity to be alone with themselves, and such spaces should be accessible to children for most of the day. The ideal is the organization of several ‘getaway’ spaces, as well as their active use by the teacher in education in the form of joint partnership activities. In addition to the above, the relevance of organizing safe spaces is also determined by their role in creating a favorable psychological climate in the group (Early Childhood Videos). The behavior and mood of a child profoundly depend on their emotional state.
Difficulties in organizing safe spaces lie in maintaining their functioning in groups in the medium and long term, observing the rules for their effective use, and the conscious involvement of teachers and children in this activity. Prospects for the inclusion of ‘getaway’ spaces in the educational environment are the search for their modern forms: economical and ergonomic, easily transformable and multifunctional, consisting of light, pleasant to the touch, hypoallergenic, safe materials. In this regard, the methods and rules of their use will change while maintaining the primary purpose – to give children the opportunity to relax in the conditions of saturated group life.
As UDL Preschool Presentation states, “UDL allows for children to build strong attachments allowing them to be comfortable in self-governing their actions and ways of personal expression” (Lanzafame, 1:13). However, unfortunately, the Classroom Organization does not include a ‘getaway’ space. It would be beneficial for the Preschool institution to include such spaces if they pursue UDL premises and standards. The quote above stresses the necessity for children to be comfortable while simultaneously emphasizing healthy self-expression. Safe spaces are designed for these purposes and foster children’s emotional and psychological well-being by allowing children to self-govern their emotional state positively and productively.
Lanzafame, Christina. Udl Preschool Presentation. 2012, Web.
Early Childhood Videos. Creating Classroom Getaway Spaces for Children. 2007, Web.