"This paper presents the findings from a preliminary investigation into the relationship between the segmentation and regulation of space in childcare centres and socio-cultural ideals and practices of "childhood". Giddens' structuration theory and Bourdieu's "habitus" provided the theoretical framework for the study. The method consisted of the application of a syntactic analysis adapted from Hillier and Hanson's space syntax analysis to the plans of thirty-nine childcare centres produced from a generic Design Brief. The resultant analyses were compared to the ideal space syntax devised from the spatial relationships proposed in the Design Brief. A review of spatial rules expressed in the Design Brief was also undertaken. It was discovered that an unstated concern for protecting children from possible abuse appeared to be a major generator of spatial relations in childcare centres."