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.

Create a Culture of Safety

In programs, all managers, staff, and families embrace the belief that children have the right to be safe by creating a culture of safety. They provide "an environment that encourages people to speak up about safety concerns, makes it safe to talk about mistakes and errors, and encourages learning from these events." Children are safer when managers, staff, and families work together to improve the strategies they use in homes, centers, and the community so children don't get hurt. Explore the resources below to learn more about creating a culture of safety.

Tips for Keeping Children Safe: A Developmental Guide - Preschoolers

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.

Virtual Early Education Center (VEEC)

The Virtual Early Education Center (VEEC) is an online tool for early care and education (ECE) programs, including Head Start, Early Head Start, and child care. It is designed to have the look and feel of an actual ECE center. Visitors can move from room to room within the VEEC to find information on health and safety practices and useful resources. Use it to explore resources and information regarding Head Start Program Performance Standards and Caring for Our Children (CFOC). Learn more about health-focused ECE and best practices.

Tips for Keeping Children Safe: A Developmental Guide - Toddlers

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.

Authorized Persons to Pick Up Child

Children may only be released to adults authorized by parents or legal guardians whose identity has been verified by photo identification. Names, addresses, and telephone numbers of persons authorized to pick up child should be obtained during the enrollment process and regularly reviewed, along with clarification/documentation of any custody issues/court orders. The legal guardian(s) of the child should be established and documented at this time.

Strangulation Hazards

Strings and cords long enough to encircle a child's neck, such as those on toys and window coverings, should not be accessible to children in early care and education programs.