Stepping Stones to Caring for Our Children, 3rd Edition (SS3)


The National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care and Early Education (NRC) is pleased to announce the release of Stepping Stones to Caring for Our Children, 3rd Edition (SS3).  SS3 presents 138 essential standards intended to reduce the rate of morbidity and mortality in child care and early education settings.

This valuable resource was developed with our collaborative partners, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American Public Health Association (APHA).  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 following significant content, format changes and additions were made in the Third Edition, as compared to Stepping Stones to Using Caring for Our Children, Second Edition (SS2):

  • New and updated standards include safe sleep, handling and feeding of human milk, introduction of solid foods to infants, monitoring children’s development, unimmunized children, preventing expulsions, and availability of drinking water.
  • Conversion charts to locate standards in SS2 and their new numbering in SS3 and vice versa.
  • The online PDF version contains links that enable you to interactively navigate within the document and locate additional information from the Caring for Our Children: National Health and Safety Performance Standards; Guidelines for Early Care and Education Programs, 3rd Edition (CFOC3) database.

Suggestions for Use of the Compliance/Comparison Checklist:

  • By licensing staff who want to compare Stepping Stones standards to the subject areas covered in their state regulations and determine where there are gaps and where regulations should be added.
  • By caregivers/teachers/directors who want to be sure they are complying with those standards that have the most potential to prevent harm to children in their settings.
  • By families who want to be sure their child’s early care and education program is complying with these important standards.
  • By child care health consultants and trainers to assess what topics need to be covered

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

Available at:

SUID/SIDS Resource Center: Safe Sleep Environment


This page contains information for parents, caregivers, and health professionals on safe sleep for infants, including placing infants to sleep on their backs, safe crib environments, and related topics. Materials are listed with the most recent items first.


Safe Sleep for Your Baby. (2012). Missouri Dept. of Health and Senior Services. Discusses the importance of a safe place for baby to sleep, the risks of bed-sharing, and do’s and don’ts for safe sleeping.

What Does a Safe Sleep Environment Look Like? (2012). Two-page illustrated fact sheet from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

Helping Baby Back To Sleep | En Español. (2009). Resource Center. Advice for parents on helping infants sleep comfortably on their backs.

Featured Resources

Toolkit for Community Health Providers: Engaging Ethnic Media to Inform Communities about Safe Sleep. (2012). National Center for Cultural Competence.

Hospital Initiative Toolkit. (2012). Cribs for Kids. Instructions and materials for starting a hospital-based infant safe sleep program.

Let’s Talk: Infant Safe Sleep Webinar. (2012). Presented by Michael Goodstein, M.D., Pennsylvania Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics.

Infant Mortality and Pregnancy Loss Knowledge Path: Section on Sleep Environment. (2012). Maternal and Child Health Library. Resources on reducing infant mortality through safe sleep environment and practices.

Sleep in Infants, Children, Adolescents, and Pregnant Women Knowledge Path. (2012). Maternal and Child Health Library. Resources on sleep problems (such as insomnia and sleep apnea), their causes (such as anxiety and caffeine), and seeking treatment.

SIDS and Other Sleep-Related Infant Deaths: Expansion of Recommendations for a Safe Infant Sleeping Environment. (2011). American Academy of Pediatrics. Policy Statement | Technical Report

A Child Care Provider’s Guide to Safe Sleep: Helping You to Reduce the Risk of SIDS (rev. ed.). (2012). Healthy Child Care America. Also available in Spanish. Safe sleep policies and practices for child care facilities and for anyone who cares for an infant.

Parent’s Guide to Safe Sleep: Helping You to Reduce the Risk of SIDS (rev. ed.). (2012). Healthy Child Care America. Also available in Spanish. Includes information about spreading the word on safe sleep practices.

14 Ways to Protect Your Baby From SIDS: Safe Sleep Advice From the Experts. (2011). By Rachel Moon, M.D. and Fern Hauck, M.D. Published by Parenting Press.

Hot Topics in Infant Safe Sleep: An Interactive Workshop with Rachel Moon, M.D. (2011). Video fromthe ASIP-Pregnancy Loss and Infant Death Alliance 2010 International Conference on Perinatal and Infant Death, along with Q & A from followup webinar series.

Infant Sleep Position and SIDS: Questions and Answers for Health Care Providers (rev. ed.). (2007). National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. SIDS facts and advice health professionals should give to parents on such topics as choking risks, back sleeping, child care, sleep surfaces, pacifiers, positional plagiocephaly, and others.

Model Hospital Policy Manual and Tool Kit: Incorporating Infant Safe Sleep Practices in a Health Care Setting/Tool Kit for Educating Parents and Caregivers About Infant Safe Sleep. (2007). Allegheny County Health Department. Discussion of reasons given for not following infant safe sleep practices and topics related to SIDS and safe sleep.

CJ Foundation for SIDS: Education Materials. Posters, public awareness campaigns, and other materials.

Consumer Product Safety Commission: Crib Information Center.

First Candle: Bedtime Basics Sleep Education Campaign.

Healthy Child Care America Safe Sleep Campaign. Brochures, training materials, policy and research articles.

Keeping Babies Safe. American Academy of Pediatrics and the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

National Institute for Child Health and Human Development: Safe to Sleep Public Education Campaign. Brochures for consumers, materials for health care providers, continuing education modules for nurses and pharmacists.

National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care and Early Education. SIDS risk reduction standards and links to resources from other organizations.

Media Resources

Online Multimedia Resources

Safe Infant Sleep videos analyzed by AAP recommendations

Source: SUID/SIDS Resource Center: Safe Sleep Environment

Available at: