/Sign-Out System

Programs should have a sign-in/sign-out system to track those who enter and exit the facility. The system should include name, contact number, relationship to facility (e.g., parent/guardian, vendor, guest, etc.), and recorded time in and out.

Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Programs should meet state or local laws regarding carbon monoxide detectors, including circumstances when detectors are necessary. Detectors should be tested monthly, and testing should be documented. Batteries should be changed at least yearly. Detectors should be replaced according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Safety Covers and Shock Protection Devices for Electrical Outlets

All accessible electrical outlets should be “tamper-resistant electrical outlets” that contain internal shutter mechanisms to prevent children from sticking objects into receptacles. In settings that do not have “tamper-resistant electrical outlets,” outlets should have “safety covers” that are attached to the electrical outlet by a screw or other means to prevent easy removal by a child. “Safety plugs” may also be used if they cannot be easily removed from outlets by children and do not pose a choking risk.

Cribs and Play Yards

Before purchase and use, cribs and play yards should comply with current CPSC and ASTM International safety standards. Programs should only use cribs for sleep purposes and ensure that each crib is a safe sleep environment as defined by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Use of Tobacco, Alcohol, and Illegal Drugs

Directors, caregivers, volunteers, and staff should not be impaired due to the use of alcohol, illegal drugs or prescription medication during program hours. Tobacco, alcohol, and illegal drug use should be prohibited on the premises (both indoor and outdoor environments) and in any vehicles used by the program at all times. In family child care settings, tobacco and alcohol should be inaccessible to children.

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.

Sun Safety Including Sunscreen

Caregivers/teachers should ensure sun safety for themselves and children under their supervision by keeping infants younger than six months out of direct sunlight, limiting sun exposure when ultraviolet rays are strongest and applying sunscreen with written permission of parents/guardians. Manufacturer instructions should be followed.

Background Screening

All caregivers/teachers and staff in early care and education settings (in addition to any individual age 18 and older, or a minor over age 12 if allowed under State law and if a registry/database includes minors, residing in a family child care home) should undergo a complete background screening upon employment and once at least every five years thereafter. Screening should be conducted as expeditiously as possible and should be completed within 45 days after hiring.  Caregivers/teachers and staff should not have unsupervised access to children until screening has been completed. Consent to the background investigation should be required for employment consideration. The comprehensive background screening should include the following:

Facilities Project Implementation

Learn about the laws and regulations grantees must comply with and the forms they must complete when they purchase, construct, or renovate a facility.


Eligibility, Recruitment, Selection, Enrollment, and Attendance (ERSEA) systems provide for effective access to the program for children and families.