Children learn best when they are in safe, well-supervised environments. Head Start staff can reduce the possibility of a child getting hurt when they closely observe children and respond when needed. When programs think systematically about child supervision they create safe, positive learning environments for all children.
Playgrounds are a fundamental part of the childhood experience and should be safe havens for children. The resources on this page will give designers, directors, and members of an agency's facility planning team technical safety guidelines for designing, constructing and maintaining playgrounds.
All Head Start educators are responsible for making sure that no child is left unsupervised. Active supervision is a strategy that works. It can be used in classrooms, family child care, playgrounds, and buses. It can also be shared with families as a tool to use at home. This fact sheet explains what active supervision is and how to use it in your program. Note: This resource is under review.
Plants are important to our health and well-being, and they can help children understand and respect the natural world. However, some plants and seeds can be harmful when eaten or touched. According to Caring for Our Children Standard 126.96.36.199: Prohibition of Poisonous Plants, poisonous or potentially harmful plants are not allowed in any part of a child care facility. If Head Start management or staff are unsure whether a plant is toxic, they can work with the Poison Control Center (1-800-222-1222) to identify it and determine whether it is safe. Review the list of common household plants to learn which are poisonous. Staff also can share the list with families so they can protect their children and pets from toxic plants at home.
Infants depend on their caregivers for food, warmth, and care, and for meeting such basic needs as eating, diapering, sleeping, and bonding. But all babies are unique. Some infants may settle easily and be capable of quickly soothing themselves.
The toddler years are a time when children are building skills in all areas. They remember what they learn and share it with others. They understand things more deeply, make choices, and engage with others in new ways. The changes in their physical, cognitive, and social-emotional development help them to build new skills that prepare them for school and later learning.
Bugged by Bugs? Try Integrated Pest Control Management (IPM)
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) website provides a quick reference for the proper use of child car seats and booster seats. Head Start program directors, health managers, and parents can determine the type of car or booster seat a child requires based on the child’s height, weight, and age. Posters and other promotional materials to encourage the use of appropriate child safety seats also are offered.
By the time they are preschool-aged, children are more independent in their play and their ability to meet their own needs. They focus on learning rules and routines to know what is safe and appropriate. Their constant dialogue with peers and caregivers helps them to form specific ideas about what is safe and why.
Learn the facts about lead poisoning in children. Find information on lead testing, the effects of lead on children and how to prevent lead exposure.