The task of looking after little children is a much deeper and more fundamental social issue than the phrases “babysitting” and “child care” suggest.


In every neighborhood, build a children’s home—a second home for children—a large rambling house or workplace—a place where children can stay for an hour or two, or for a week. At least one of the people who run it must live on the premises; it must be open 24 hours a day; open to children of all ages; and it must be clear, from the way that it is run, that it is a second family for the children—not just a place where baby-sitting is available.

… within each neighborhood there are hundreds of children. The children, especially the young ones, are helped in their relation to the world by the patterns Children in the City (57) and Connected Play (68). However, these very general provisions in the form of public land need to be supported by some kind of communal place, where they can stay without their parents for a few hours, or a few days, according to necessity. This pattern is a part of the Network of Learning (18) for the youngest children.

Treat the building as a collection of small connected buildings - Building Complex (95); lay an important neighborhood path right through the building, so that children who are not a part of the school can see and get to know it by meeting the children who are - Building Thoroughfare (101) attach it to the local Adventure Playground (73) ; make the teachers’ house an integral part of the interior - Your Own Home (79); and treat the common space itself as the hearth of a larger family - The Family (75), Common Areas at the Heart (129).

Reference for full-text of Pattern: p. 426medium-confidence