By Michelle Long

The ERS scales expect each child to have individual cubby/storage space that is not shared with anyone else. Why is individual storage important?

  1. Having individual storage helps to reduce the spread of lice and scabies.
  2. Providing each child with their own space also offers him/her a sense of belonging to the classroom environment.

This expectation proves to be a challenge for many child care facilities, especially those with limited space. While you may initially think that the expectation means you need to add additional cubby units to your classroom, remember that the intent is to keep children’s belongings from touching one another’s.

How can you be creative with the use of the space/storage you already have? Here are some questions and suggestions for further thinking on the topic:

If the cubbies you currently use have additional compartments, how might you use those for storage?  What other type of inexpensive storage solutions might you use?

(ex: Placing children’s coats in the top and bottom compartments and using stackable baskets in the middle for papers; Using stackable bins with lids for the children’s coats; Placing children’s coats in non-porous backpacks; etc)

How might you divide your current cubby storage to keep children’s belongings separated? How can you create additional storage in the cubby space you have?

(ex: Adding a wood or plexi-glass divider to separate the middle section with the hooks; adding additional hooks on to the ends of the unit; etc.)

Remember that your solution may look different than any of those suggested.  Always look at what works best for your facility, teachers, parents, and children.