Here's the way I see it:
For a group of children two to three years of age, the development of social skills is important, but safety precautions are more important, as children in this age category have relatively few safety skills. Safety is important in the selection of play materials; limitations of movement and the number of children in the area are all areas in which safety must be carefully considered, and it is the responsibility of teachers caregivers to create and maintain a safe play environment. Such an environment is not a barrier to the development of social skills; again, the age and skill levels of the student population must be considered.
When shopping in a supermarket, I will skip a crowded aisle, and return to it later; this is an exercise in patience and reason; there is no urgency connected with purchasing any particular item. These skills can be learned in early childhood. Similarly, if the store manager asked some customers to move to the frozen foods section, I would likely be one of those to move to the other section; this is another exercise in patience and reason. There is no reason to become argumentative or irate; it is a function of maturity and skill development to have the coping skills necessary to undertake a successful shopping trip without any major crises.
I would limit the number of children at each center as a means to maintain a safe environment and insure that the number of children can be managed effectively by the staffers on hand. Movement among the centers should also be limited, again to insure safety and effective management. An overcrowded environment without the proper control of movement can quickly become chaotic and hazardous. Access to materials must also be carefully controlled, as even safe materials can be put to unsafe uses if access is not monitored properly.
I hope this is helpful.
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