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• temporal environment: schedules, routines, rules, regulations, and learning opportunities that meet children’s needs • interpersonal environment: the relationships and interactions of all individuals involved in the program, including the children, staff, par- ents, and the greater community • physical environment: the indoor and outdoor setting, including furnishings, materials, and architectural elements of lighting, color, plumbing, and physical layout of the space Child development researchers define a child’s environment as the total of all things a child comes in contact with on a regular basis (Isbell and Exelby 2001; Curtis and Carter 2003; Greenman 2005). In school-age program settings, this includes physical places and spaces, learning experiences gained from the temporal environment, and social interactions with people. A quality school- age environment is a welcoming, dynamic place full of action and excited learners. How you design and equip the environment helps children be suc- cessful learners, grow in self-confidence and esteem, and establish a sense of community with peers and adults. The program environment generally affects the overall well-being of everyone who spends time in the school-age program. The following questionnaire, A Day in the Life of Your School-Age Pro- gram, will help you to begin thinking about all three dimensions of your pro- gram environment—temporal, interpersonal, and physical. Pretend you are a first-time visitor to your program and answer the questions honestly, based on what you observe in the environment. (The questionnaire is also available at for downloading and printing.) 10 • Chapter 1 COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL