In 2002, almost half of Australian children under 12 years of age used some type of child care, a number that has increased gradually over the last decade and is expected to grow even further in the future (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2002). As a result, children are spending more time in child care settings. Research has identified that child care environments influence children’s behavioural, cognitive, social and emotional development (Moore, 2003; Wohlwill & Heft, 1987). Based on this research, and the growing number of children in child care, it is important that children are exposed to high quality child care settings. In previous research, a number of design recommendations for child care environments have been developed (e.g. Prescott & David, 1976; Moore et al, 1994), culminating in scales such as the Childhood Physical Environments Rating Scale (CPERS; Moore, O'Donnell & Sugiyama, 2003). These recommendations, if implemented, should lead to higher quality child care centres, and to related positive impacts on children’s development. While quality has been defined in terms of what the research indicates as important, it is notable that little research has investigated children’s preferences for different child care environments. While it is unlikely that young children are aware of the impact of different designs on their development, it is probable that they have preferences for different design aspects in child care environments. Previous research on children’s design preferences in other types of environments, such as school and home environments, demonstrates that young children do have design preferences (Cohen & Trostle, 1988, 1990; Groves & Mason, 1993). The paper reports on research investigating some relationships between aspects of the design quality of children day care facilities as defined by the Childhood Physical Environments Rating Scale, and children’s preferences for these facilities. The research hopes to begin to fill a current gap in the literature, and investigate the question: “Do children prefer child care environments which are identified as high quality based on previous research?” This research investigated the physical environment aspects of colour, activity-richness and privacy and interaction in relation to children’s preferences. These aspects have previously been identified as influencing children’s environmental preferences in other environments such as schools and playgrounds (e.g., Cohen & Trostle, 1988, 1990; Groves & Mason, 1993; Van Andel, 1990). The sample consisted of 60 preschool age children (3;0-5;11) from 10 different child care centres in Sydney, with the same number of boys and girls and of older and younger children. The materials used were six sets of three A4 photographs depicting the environmental constructs of interest. The three pictures depicted three different quality-levels for each of these three constructs as defined by CPERS. The pictures were created by manipulating digital photographs of spaces of two child care centres with the computer program Photoshop.After a short warm-up task, each child was presented with the sets of pictures and asked to choose which one of the pictures he or she preferred. The research aimed to identify whether children prefer what current design recommendations define as high quality, or environments with design aspects that are supposedly lower in quality. The paper will report on these results. If differences are found between children’s preferences and the research based recommendations, then a future challenge will be the development of overarching design recommendations that both address the preferences of children as well as the recommendations based on developmental relationships found in previous research.