Reducing Environmental Exposures in Child Care Facilities: A Review of State Policy 

1/2015

The child care environment is vitally important to the healthy development of millions of young children who receive care outside their homes. Along with creating a safe, nurturing, and stimulating child care program, protecting children from exposure to indoor environmental contaminants is critical to advancing the core goals of early care and education. Children are not simply “little adults” when it comes to environmental exposures – they may be more highly exposed to pollutants and more vulnerable to their effects.

This report, prepared by the Environmental Law Institute and the Children’s Environmental Health Network, provides an overview of how state policy addresses indoor environmental exposures in the child care setting. While there has been considerable progress in establishing policies to address key indoor contaminants, there is ample room for strengthening state laws, regulations, and non-regulatory initiatives. The report describes the state of state policy today and highlights notable examples to assist policymakers, agency officials, non-governmental organizations and associations, and others who work to advance quality child care and promote children’s health.

Source: Environmental Law Institute

Available at: http://www.eli.org/buildings/reducing-environmental-exposures-child-care-facilities

Environmental Health in Early Care and Education

8/2014

EH is a collection of 123 nationally recognized health and safety standards that have the greatest impact on environmental health in early care and education. These standards and the associated 9 Appendices are a subset of materials available in Caring for Our Children: National Health and Safety Performance Standards; Guidelines for Early Care and Education Programs, 3rd Edition CFOC3. The purpose of this collection is to serve as a compilation of best practices for environmentally-healthy early care and education programs.

Support for this project was provided through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, Maternal and Child Health Bureau.

The American Academy of Pediatrics AAP, the American Public Health Association APHA, and the National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care and Early Education NRC would like to acknowledge the outstanding contributions of all persons and organizations involved in the creation of this CFOC3 collection. Twenty individuals, representing seventeen organizations, reviewed and validated the chosen standards. Our sincere appreciation goes to all of our colleagues who willingly gave their time and expertise to the development of this resource.

Special acknowledgement is given for the technical assistance provided by Eco-Healthy Child Care®, a program of the Children’s Environmental Health Network CEHN.

Source: National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care and Early Education

Available at: http://nrckids.org/index.cfm/products/environmental-health-in-early-care-and-education/

How Can Your Organization Embrace Children’s Environmental Health? – Association for Early Learning Leaders

Thursday, September 11, 2014
12:00 pm to 1:30 pm EST
11:00 am to 12:30 pm CDT
10:00 am to 11:30 am MDT
9:00 am to 10:30 am PST

Children’s developing systems and unique behaviors make them more vulnerable than adults to being harmed by unhealthy environments, such as a child care setting that contains harmful, common chemicals.  How can entities that are dedicated to protecting children’s health and development build their capacity to better protect children’s health?

Presenters on this webinar will discuss the lessons learned by their organization in the process of adopting policies or practices to protect children’s environmental health.  New resources on children’s environmental health for child care professionals will also be shared.

Speakers:

Colleen Tracy Haddad, Executive Director
Association for Early Learning Leaders: National Accreditation Commission

Jean M. Cimino, Content Co-Manager for Caring For Our Children, 3rd Edition
National Resource Center for Health & Safety in Child Care and Early Education NRC

Marcus Williams, Executive Director
National Association for Regulatory Administration NARA

Moderator: Nsedu Obot Witherspoon, Executive Director
Children’s Environmental Health Network

Who should participate?

  • Board members, executives, and staff at public health organizations and agencies
  • Board members, executives, and staff at child care professional organizations and agencies
  • Child care licensing staff and child care nurse health consultants
  • Owners and managers of child care, early care, and learning facilities
  • State legislators and other elected officials interested in child health and development

On the morning of the webinar you will receive an email invitation with a link to join the webinar.

Source: Association for Early Learning Leaders, National Accreditation Commission for Early Care and Education Programs

Available at: http://www.earlylearningleaders.org/events/event_details.asp?id=473274&group=

Protecting Our Children From Home Health Hazards: Information for Primary Care Providers on Lead Poisoning and Asthma

WEBINAR: Thursday, May 8th 12:30pm—1:30pm EST

Presented by the Mid-Atlantic Center for Children’s Health and the Environment in collaboration with the National Nursing Centers Consortium. Supported by the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the Clinical Directors Network.

As young children spend around 90% of their time in the home, with much of that time in their bedrooms, it is important to ensure that children have a healthy and safe place to live. Primary care providers can play a critical role in identifying environmental hazards in the home that impact on a child’s health by asking about environmental exposures and counseling patients on steps they can take to create a healthy home. This webinar will discuss environmental hazards in the home, with an emphasis on lead poisoning and asthma.

This session is pending for 1.0 Prescribed credit through the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP). For the purposes of American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) certification and re-certification, participants may use these contact hours.

Speakers:

Jerome A. Paulson, MD, FAAP
Medical Director for National and Global Affairs & Director of the Mid-Atlantic Center for Children’s Health and the Environment
Child Health Advocacy Institute
Children’s National Health System
Professor of Pediatrics and of Environmental & Occupational Health
George Washington University

Rachael Greenberg
Environmental Health Project Coordinator
National Nursing Centers Consortium

Date: May 8th, 2014, 12:30-1:30pm EST
REGISTER AT: http://bit.ly/HHWebinarRegistration
Webinar Login: http://bit.ly/HealthyHomesWebinar click “Join” and follow instructions
Call in-information: 1. Call conference number, US Toll Free 1-888-680-0812, 2. Enter the conference code: 700 286 1381

For questions contact: Veronica Tinney, 202-471-4829, vtinney@cnmc.org

Eco-Healthy Child Care® Factsheets

16 fact sheets developed to support child care programs in improving environmental health. Topics cover:

Source: Children’s Environmental Health Network

Available at: http://www.cehn.org/ehcc/factsheets

EPA-sponsored Webinar: Green Cleaning, Sanitizing, and Disinfecting in Early Care and Education (ECE) Settings

7/23/2013 from 1 – 2:30 ET

Child care professionals know how important regular cleaning is for maintaining attractive and healthful conditions in early learning environments. Cleaning has obvious aesthetic benefits. But it also has health benefits since cleaning, along with sanitizing and disinfecting, removes dust, allergens, toxic contaminants and infectious agents.

What you may not realize is that some cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting products pose significant health and environmental concerns and that some chemicals in these products are associated with eye, skin, and respiratory irritation, as well as other health issues. Concentrated forms of some commercial cleaning products are classified as hazardous, creating potential handling, storage, and disposal issues for users and exposure risk for children and staff.

Small children are particularly vulnerable to health effects from exposure to chemicals in cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting products because of their size, stage of development and behaviors.  But there are easy steps you can take to maintain a clean, sanitary and healthy child care while at the same time reducing exposure to harmful chemicals.

Please join us for a webinar on Green Cleaning, Sanitizing, and Disinfecting in Early Care and Education Settings on July 23 at 1:00 – 2:30 Eastern. Reserve your spot now by visiting:https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/175606600 so you can learn how to implement a green cleaning program in your child care facility.

This webinar is sponsored by EPA’s Office of Children’s Health Protection and features three national experts who will provide information you can use to institute a green cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting program in early care and education centers you manage or oversee.

The panel discussion will include results of research on exposure to chemicals in child care settings and how these exposures can affect the health of staff and children.  It will also provide practical tips for instituting a green cleaning program in your ECE center drawing upon information contained in the soon-to-be  released Cleaning, Sanitizing, and Disinfecting: A Toolkit for Early Care and Education” co-authored by the speakers. The Toolkit will be available online this summer at:

http://cerch.org/greencleaningtoolkit/

http://www.informedgreensolutions.org/?q=publications/green-cleaning-toolkit

Speakers:

Carol Westinghouse:  President of Informed Green Solutions and a nationally recognized specialist in green cleaning.   Ms. Westinghouse developed and manages a Cleaning for Health program that has provided technical assistance to hundreds of schools across New England as well as early care and education centers, colleges and universities, health care facilities, state agencies and businesses.  She has served as an advisor and consultant for numerous projects relating to green cleaning, including projects for the States of Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Maine and Rhode Island.  She has authored and co-authored numerous fact sheets and other guidance documents on green cleaning for schools and early care and education programs.

Vickie Leonard: Dr. Leonard is a nurse practitioner and is also a child care health consultant with a particular interest in environmental health in ECE. She worked for the California Childcare Health Program for 5 years until funding was cut in 2010. While at CCHP, Dr. Leonard developed the first Toolkit, Integrated Pest Management: A Toolkit for Early Care and Education. She now works for the University of California, San Francisco’s Institute on Health and Aging where she is the lead author of the new Green Cleaning, Sanitizing, and Disinfecting Toolkit for Early Care and Education.

Asa Bradman:  Dr. Bradman is an environmental health scientist who focuses on exposures to pregnant women and children. He is a co-founder of the Center for Environmental Research and Children’s Health (CERCH) at the University of California’s Berkeley campus and helps direct biomonitoring and exposure studies as part of the CHAMACOS partnership in the Salinas Valley, California. He leads the CERCH initiative to improve environmental health in California child care facilities. He was appointed by Governor Schwarzenegger to the Scientific Guidance Panel for the California Environmental Contaminant Biomonitoring Program and is a scientific advisor to the National Center for Healthy Homes, the California Child Care Health Program, the Children’s Environmental Health Network, and the US EPA Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee (PPDC)/21st Century Toxicology workgroup.