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Health, Safety, and Nutrition in Early Childhood Education

Health, Safety, and Nutrition in Early Childhood Education

June 16, 2015 | Ron Spreeuwenberg
Health, safety and nutrition in early childhood education are of utmost importance when it comes to operating a high quality child care center

While health, safety and nutrition might seem like basic, everyday elements of a good daycare facility, these factors can often be overlooked or neglected. Whether you are a parent searching for the right childcare center for your toddler, or are a daycare operator, the following are the fundamentals of a healthy and safe environment for early childhood education that simply cannot be ignored.


A clean child care center is a huge contributing factor to the overall health of the facility and its children. Preventing the spread of illness to children and the community is paramount, and can be achieved through maintaining a strict cleaning routine. Ensure that the physical environment is tidy and disinfected on a daily basis. 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 to avoid cross contamination and illness.


Safety extends into nearly all aspects of a child care facility and its day to day operations. From the layout of the rooms and placement of desks, equipment and activity stations, to the materials used in craft making, safety should be at the forefront of your team members' minds at all times. Activities, movements, and lessons should always be planned taking safety into considertation to avoid injury, illness or other harm to the children in your care.

First Aid

It goes without saying that all early childhood educators should have up to date first aid training and CPR qualifications in order to provide the best possible care. A first aid kit should be easily accessible at all times in case of emergency. All kits should be checked and restocked frequently and checked for expired supplies. A travel first aid kit should also be taken on any outings such as trips to the playground.


Ensuring that their children receive nutritious meals at their child's care center is often a top concern for parents. During early childhood years, it is imperative that little ones get the right balance of nutrients for optimal child growth and development. A successful and healthy meal plan should be tailored to the age group of the children in your care, and take into account the specific nutritional requirements and allergies of individual children.

Though your State or Province may outline standards for health, safety and nutrition in early childhood education, remember that these are simply the minimum requirements to operate a licensed childcare facility. A successful center will aim to exceed these standards to offer the best possible learning environment for the children in their care.

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