By: Rachel Schumacher
The Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) Act of 2014 made major changes designed to protect the health and safety of children in early care and education (ECE) settings. The foundation of high-quality child care that promotes child development involves efforts to improve children’s health, safety, and well-being. When fully implemented, the changes in the CCDBG Act of 2014 will expand the availability of quality child care and will benefit the more than 1.4 million children and families receiving child care subsidies. These reforms will also enrich the lives of children who receive no direct assistance from the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) program but who will benefit from ECE environments that support their health, safety, and well-being.
The CCDBG Act of 2014 included several provisions related to health and safety, training, and monitoring that States, Territories, and Tribes will have to implement for all providers receiving payments from the CCDF program. Revising requirements and creating new ones can be challenging and time-consuming. To support licensing administrators and CCDF administrators as they begin to consider revisions to State standards for licensed and license-exempt providers, the National Center on Early Childhood Quality Assurance (ECQA Center) has developed nine new briefs addressing the health and safety topics specified in the law.
We encourage States, Territories, and Tribes to take advantage of this opportunity to better safeguard children’s health and safety while increasing awareness among child care providers and families.
Brief #3: Prevention of and Response to Emergencies Due to Food and Allergic Reactions
Brief #4: Reducing the Risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and Using Safe Sleeping Practices
Brief #7: Handling, Storing, and Disposing of Hazardous Materials and Biological Contaminants
Each brief provides the following:
Excerpts from Federal CCDF program requirements
Excerpts of relevant language from Caring for Our Children Basics: Health and Safety Foundations for Early Care and Education, which represents the minimum health and safety standards that experts believe should be in place where children are cared for outside their homes
Links to relevant language in Caring for Our Children: National Health and Safety Performance Standards; Guidelines for Early Care and Education Programs, Third Edition, which represents best practices with respect to health and safety in ECE settings and helps programs and providers implement Caring for Our Children Basics, understand the research and rationale behind the standards, and move to higher levels of quality in health and safety
Examples of regulatory requirements for licensed and license-exempt providers that represent a range of approaches taken by States
Additional resources that provide the rationale; support recommended changes; and further inform stakeholders, licensors, and providers about each health and safety topic.
In addition to supporting licensing administrators and CCDF administrators, the briefs can also be of value to ECE and school-age care and education providers seeking to improve health and safety within their learning environments.
The briefs can be found on the Early Childhood Training and Technical Assistance System Web site at https://childcareta.acf.hhs.gov/topics/health-and-safety-and-licensing. For additional support, please contact the ECQA Center at QualityAssuranceCenter@ecetta.info.
Office of Child Care
Office of Child Care
Administration for Children and Families
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Mary E. Switzer Building, Fourth Floor, MS 4425
330 C Street, S.W.
Washington, DC 20201
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Fax: (202) 690-5600
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Web site: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/occ
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