Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is Healthy Child Care?
Healthy Child Care is an international health and safety initiative funded by the IBM Global Work/Life Fund, administered by WFD Consulting (WFD), and developed by International Child Resource Institute (ICRI).
Healthy Child Care resources are designed to promote and maintain child health and reduce illness and injuries in settings where children are cared for on a daily basis. More than twenty health and safety materials are available at NO COST for parents and caregivers of young children – whether aspouse or other relative, nanny, housekeeper, neighborhood child minder, or child care center.
What is the goal of Healthy Child Care?
Specifically, the project goal is to improved health and well-being for children in all forms of child care in two primary areas:
- Increased child care provider knowledge of key issues which can lead to improved health and safety outcomes for children in child care; and
- Improved national and regional health and safety awareness leading to illness and injury reduction in settings where children are cared for on a daily basis in those countries where the project materials are used.
Why is there a Special Focus on Health and Safety?
All child care providers, even good ones, need to improve practices. This is true around the world. Site visits to settings where children are cared for on a daily basis around the world confirm that there are substantial problems with health and safety practices including poor procedures for disease prevention (hand washing, diapering, universal precautions) and unsafe conditions such as hazardous playground equipment, lack of cushioning surfaces and poor evacuation procedures.
New and sometimes conflicting health information can confuse caregivers about the methods they should be using. Many caregivers are unaware of basic steps that would not only keep children healthier, but would reduce their own risk factors for a number of illnesses. For example, although the relationship between hand washing and the spread of infectious disease is well documented and information about proper procedures is readily available, proper hand washing is not practiced in many child care settings.
What Types of Materials are Available from Healthy Child Care?
Healthy Child Care site content, free downloadable catalog and self-assessment checklists will help you focus on the importance of maintaining safe and healthy child care settings as well as achieve your health and safety goals.
Use Healthy Child Care materials to:
- Improve your knowledge and understanding of health and safety issues that impact children in all forms of child care; and
- Increase your ability to take action on key health and safety issues that will lead to improved health and safety outcomes for children incare settings.
Healthy Child Care has created materials with the inherent presumption that caregivers want to do the best for the children in their care. Using the latest research information and best practices from around the world, Healthy Child Care materials are educational with an engaging tone and focus on every day practices and reminders.
How Were Healthy Child Care Materials Created?
An international review and gap analysis of existing health and safety materials has been a strong part of the underlying research underpinning the creation of the Healthy Child Care materials kit. Healthy Child Care materials are multi-cultural, replicable and practical for usage throughout the world. The materials are specially developed to be cross-cultural, comprehensive, as well as easy to access and implement.
In addition to the Healthy Child Care materials kit, information for parents and caregivers of young children can be found at www.globalhealthychildcare.org, including information in the following topic areas:
- Illness Prevention;
- Injury Prevention;
- Tips on Caring for Sick Children;
- Food Preparation;
- Emergency Preparedness;
- Healthy Teeth;
- Healthy Living and Play Spaces;
- Healthy Child Care Toolkit;
- Health and Safety Checklists; and
- Healthy Surroundings Checklists
Who is Healthy Child Care Designed to Serve?
Healthy Child Care specifically benefits caregivers of young children under the age of 12 — including you, your spouse or other relative, nanny, housekeeper, neighborhood child minder, or child care center. Healthy Child Care health and safety materials focus on the following topic areas: basic disease and injury prevention practices (including safety in outdoor playgrounds and indoor active play areas; standard precautions to prevent spread of disease from contact with body fluids, including hand washing, diapering, cleansing and disinfection routines; management of childhood diseases and chronic illnesses, as well as promotion of health, including preventive health care and positive health and safety habits in children.
How did Healthy Child Care Get Started?
Healthy Child Care began in1994 as a pilot project funded by the IBM Global Work/Life Fund for the purpose of providing enhanced dependent care benefits to IBMs employees worldwide. The concept was to create and test the materials and education interventions, determine if there was improvement in health and safety behaviors by caregivers, and then to share the materials and education components free of charge to benefit communities of care for young children around the world.
The pilot projects were implemented in three countries: Buenos Aires, Argentina; Shanghai, China; and Johannesburg, South Africa. Local experts were responsible for the implemention of each local pilot program and the teams received oversight, technical assistance and direction from the Healthy Child Care project team. The local program leaders implemented the project through a series of steps that included:
- Serve as primary liaison with thecaregivers;
- Implement of pre- and post- pilot test evaluations;
- Implement offocus groups to determine the effectiveness of the project materials and web site usage; and
- Development ofpossible future working relationships with other in-country agencies or organizations in preparation for funding of local project expansions into communities apart from IBM.
The content for this web site and print materials was in-part adapted with the permission ofseveral sources including:
Caring for Our Children, The National Health and Safety Performance Standards, Guidelines for Out-of-Home Child Care, 2nd ed., AAP/APHA/MCHB; Healthy Young Children, 4th ed., NAEYC; Family Child Care Health and Safety Checklist, Massachusetts Department of Public Health; and materials from the National Resource Center.
AAP – American Academy of Pediatrics
APHA – American Public Health Association
MCHB – Maternal and Child Health Bureau, of the Health Resources and Services Administration, of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.