Health Services to Promote Attendance

From the first day of enrollment, a young child's attendance matters! Good attendance leads to lifelong learning and positive habits necessary for school and work. When young children are chronically absent from Head Start, Early Head Start, or child care, often they are likely to continue to be chronically absent in elementary school. Others may drop-out as they get older. Absenteeism decreases children's opportunity to engage in learning, impacting their development in all domains of the Child Development and Early Learning Framework. (See Making the Link Between Health and School Readiness to learn more about the impact of health on child development). 

Compliance with Fire Prevention Code

Programs should comply with a state-approved or nationally recognized fire prevention code, such as the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 101: Life Safety Code.

Routine Oral Hygiene Activities

Caregivers/teachers should promote good oral hygiene through learning activities including the habit of regular tooth brushing.

Immunization Documentation

Programs should require that all parents/guardians of enrolled children provide written documentation of receipt of immunizations appropriate for each child's age. Infants, children, and adolescents should be immunized as specified in the “Recommended Immunization Schedules for Persons Aged 0 Through 18 Years,” developed by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the CDC, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Academy of Family Physicians. Children whose immunizations are not up-to-date or have not been administered according to the recommended schedule should receive the required immunizations, unless contraindicated or for legal exemptions.

Unimmunized Children

Programs must identify children in their care who are not immunized, and the reason. The local or state health department will be able to provide guidelines for exclusion requirements.

Tips for Health Managers Series

These fact sheets serve as tools to help Head Start health managers provide important information to Head Start staff about National Center on Health (NCH) priorities. We hope that you find them useful as you work within your programs and communities to strengthen the health and wellness of all Head Start children.

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.

Location of Electrical Devices near Water

No electrical device or apparatus accessible to children should be located so it could be plugged into an electrical outlet while a person is in contact with a water source, such as a sink, tub, shower area, water table, or swimming pool.

Firearms

Center-based programs should not have firearms or any other weapon on the premises at any time. If present in a family child care home, parents should be notified and these items should be unloaded, equipped with child protective devices, and kept under lock and key with the ammunition locked separately in areas inaccessible to the children. Parents/guardians should be informed about this policy.