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Minimizing Lead Exposure in Child Care

By Jessica Rose-Malm on April 17, 2019

When the Flint, MI water crisis hit the news in 2015, people around the world took notice. Hundreds of children across Flint had alarmingly high blood lead levels. Many still do. The problem was quickly traced back to lead contamination in the city’s water supply. The water that Flint’s families and caregivers used to cook, drink and bathe in was poisoning their children.

The Flint crisis highlights a problem that impacts millions of children in the United States. Children’s blood lead levels in places like Milwaukee, Baltimore and Philadelphia are actually much higher than in Flint. The poisoning happens because of lead in water, but also because of lead dust in buildings. And the children most in danger are children from families with low incomes and children of color.  

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Location Matters: Tips for Choosing a Safe Child Care Site

By Jessica Rose-Malm on April 3, 2019

When we think about health and safety in child care, it’s often related to hazards we can see. For instance, are providers and children washing their hands properly? Have cleaners and medications been locked away? Are smoke and carbon monoxide detectors present and functional? These are things that can affect children’s wellbeing right now. 

At Child Care Aware® of America (CCAoA), we’ve been thinking about health and safety in a new way. To create safe and healthy child care programs, we need to consider both hazards we can see and those we cannot. That means thinking about children’s health and wellness right now and in the future.  

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Tips to Reduce the Use of Toxic Chemicals in Child Care Programs

By Jessica Rose-Malm on March 28, 2019

Keeping child care facilities clean and free of pests is one of the most important things we can do to prevent diseases from spreading. The challenge is that chemicals that providers use for cleaning and pest control are often toxic. And while that might be common knowledge for some, not everyone knows about the risks some cleaners can cause. Also, many of the cleaners that are more toxic are inexpensive, making them fast and easy choices for businesses and low-income families.  

The Child Care and Development Block Grant has requirements around handing and storing hazardous materials. If providers are using ammonia to clean or rat poison to keep pests away, they need to make sure those chemicals are locked away and out of reach.  

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Spring Flooding: Tips to Prepare Child Care Providers

By Holly Nett on March 22, 2019

Spring can’t come soon enough for you, right?  On the heels of a winter that gifted us with the polar vortex and record amounts of snowfall across much of the country, spring flooding is now a reality in much of the Midwest. While those living in the northern tier of the country may be wishing for a quick spring warm up and the disappearance of snow,  rapid snow melt is already producing record flooding. 


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Workforce Wellness: A Call for Programs Doing it Well

By Jessica Rose-Malm on March 13, 2019

The life of a child care provider is never easy. Every day they wear a dozen hats—teacher, nurse, referee, social worker and more. Providers give their all to make sure the children in their care have all the tools they need to grow up happy, healthy and ready to learn. But the stress of doing it all, and for very little pay, can add up to big consequences for providers’ health and wellbeing.

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Provider’s POV Shares Challenges in Offering Nonstandard Hours Care

By Guest Blogger on February 26, 2019

In January, we released a new report, “It’s About Time: Parents Who Work Nonstandard Hours Face Child Care Challenges,” where we highlighted the need for and the obstacles in accommodating nonstandard hours child care. We also highlighted groups who are doing it right! Here is one child care provider’s journey to provide nonstandard hours care in her community.

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