Emergency Preparedness Manual for Early Childhood Programs

Programs can use this manual as a guide for their emergency planning process. Find the latest tools and resources to support children, families, and communities before, during, and after an emergency. An emergency may be a catastrophic natural event, like a hurricane, flood, or wildfire, or a man-made disaster, such as a shooting. No matter the crisis, early childhood programs need to be ready with impact, relief, and recovery plans.

Embracing Health and Wellness Series

In the Embracing Health and Wellness series, learn about current research topics.  Explore best practices and safety tips for Head Start and child care programs.

Emergency Preparedness

Explore and share materials about disaster preparedness, response, and recovery for families and programs.

Children and Youth Task Force in Disasters: Guidelines for Development

Children and youth are at heightened risk in disasters and public health emergencies. In an effort to meet the challenge of addressing the complex needs of children, youth, and families in disasters, the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), Office of Human Services Emergency Preparedness and Response (OHSEPR) and partners from across the nation developed a model. It was designed to bring together Whole Community child-and youth-serving agencies, organizations, and professionals in a single forum for shared strategic coordination to meet the needs of children and youth. The Children and Youth Task Force model has emerged as a promising practice to promote effective coordination of these diverse systems and agencies.

Emergency Procedures

Programs should have a procedure for responding to situations when an immediate emergency medical response is required. Emergency procedures should be posted and readily accessible. All providers and/or staff should be trained to manage an emergency until emergency medical care becomes available.

Availability and Use of a Telephone or Wireless Communication Device

The facility should provide at all times at least one working non-pay telephone or wireless communication device for general and emergency use on the premises of the child care program, in each vehicle used when transporting children, and on field trips. While transporting children, drivers should not operate a motor vehicle while using a mobile telephone or wireless communications device when the vehicle is in motion or traffic.