Health, safety, and nutrition in early childhood education are of utmost importance when it comes to operating a high-quality childcare center. While health and safety might seem like basic elements of a good childcare facility, these factors can often be overlooked or neglected. Whether you are a parent searching for the right childcare center for your child or a daycare operator, health and safety should be one of your top priorities.
A clean childcare center looks good to prospective families. It also creates a safe environment for the children and educators. Clean surfaces help prevent the spread of illness, which is common in an early childhood setting.
Achieving a clean space boils down to having a consistent routine. Ensure that the physical environment is tidy and disinfected on a daily basis is key. Here are some supplies that are useful to have on hand:
- Lysol wipes
- Water and hydrogen peroxide mixture
- Hand sanitizer
It is also helpful to encourage frequent hand washing among children as well as staff to stop the spread of germs.
Additionally, any employees involved in preparing meals and snacks should be properly certified in food handling. Proper food handling can avoid cross-contamination and illness.
A health and safety curriculum for early childhood
Safety extends into nearly all aspects of a childcare facility and its day-to-day operations. Safety should be at the forefront of an educator’s mind at all times.
From the layout of the rooms and placement of desks to the materials used in craft making, safety should be a consideration. Creating a safe environment will prevent unnecessary mishaps.
Another good way to maintain a clean classroom is to incorporate tidying into the daily routine with the children. Budget some time to clean up after each activity. This will reduce the work educators have to do after class and teach children good habits that will carry on into the future.
Unfortunately, children getting hurt in the classroom is a very common thing. It goes without saying that all educators should have up-to-date first aid training and CPR qualifications.
An app with staff management can give you an overview of your educators’ certification schedules to make sure you’re on top of things. Keeping track of this ensures that your staff will know the necessary steps to take should an incident happen.
A first aid kit should also be accessible at all times in case of emergency. All kits should be checked for expired supplies and restocked frequently.
When it comes to field trips, always bring along a travel first aid kit. It is always better to be overprepared!
Ensuring that children receive nutritious meals at their childcare center is often a top concern for parents. During the early childhood years, it is very important that little ones get the right balance of nutrients for their growth and development.
A healthy meal plan should be customized to the age group of the children in your care. It should also take personal allergies and nutritional requirements into account.
Though your licensing body may outline standards for health, safety, and nutrition in early childhood education, remember that these are simply the minimum requirements. A successful center will aim to exceed these standards to offer the best possible learning environment for the children in their care.
Thorough documentation is key to maintaining a safe environment. See our guide to make sure you’re not missing any important moments!
- Cold & Flu Season: The Early Childhood Director’s Guide
- How Child Care Centers Manage Allergies
- Developing an Emergency Disaster Plan for Child Care Centers
- Preparing Kids for Emergencies
- What Child Care Safety Policies Do I Need to Be Compliant?
- How to Effectively Track Health Info At Preschool
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