Hazard Mapping for Early Care and Education Programs

Hazard mapping is a process that Head Start programs can use after an injury occurs. It helps to: 1) identify location(s) for high risk of injury; 2) pinpoint systems and services that need to be strengthened; 3) develop a corrective action plan; and 4) incorporate safety and injury prevention into ongoing monitoring activities. Hazard mapping is employed effectively in emergency preparedness planning related to natural disasters. It also is used to isolate locations of disease outbreaks and determine where prevention efforts are most needed.

Inspection of Buildings

Existing and/or newly constructed, renovated, remodeled, or altered buildings should be inspected by a building inspector to ensure compliance with applicable state and local building and fire codes before the building can be used for the purpose of early care and education.

Frequency of Inspections for Child Care Centers and Family Child Care Homes

Licensing inspectors or monitoring staff should make on-site inspections to measure program compliance with health, safety, and fire standards prior to issuing an initial license and no less than one, unannounced inspection each year thereafter to ensure compliance with regulations. Additional inspections should take place if needed for the program to achieve satisfactory compliance or if the program is closed at any time. The number of inspections should not include those inspections conducted for the purpose of investigating complaints. Complaints should be investigated promptly, based on severity of the complaint. States should post results of licensing inspections, including complaints, on the internet for parent and public review. Parents/guardians should have easy access to licensing rules and made aware of how to report complaints to the licensing agency.

Environmental Audit of Site Location

An environmental audit should be conducted before construction of a new building; renovation or occupation of an older building; or after a natural disaster to properly evaluate and, where necessary, remediate or avoid sites where children's health could be compromised. A written report that includes any remedial action taken should be kept on file. 

Strategies to Support Safe Sleep Environments in Early Childhood Education Programs

Dr. Rachel Moon, an expert on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), presents the updated 2016 American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Task Force recommendations that relate to safe sleep practices in early childhood education (ECE) programs. CCHC can explore this webinar to learn current practices to support safe sleep environments. Learn about the research behind the recommendations, tips for sleep wear, sleeping areas, sitting devices, and more.