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This report examines research on health and safety components that lead to better care and healthier outcomes for children. We discuss research on key CCDF health and safety categories such as prevention and control of infectious disease, safe buildings and physical premises, and health and safety training, as well as nutrition and physical activity, health and developmental screening and consultation, and mental health screening and consultation.
This is an excerpt from the full brief.
With large numbers of young children in nonparental care, policymakers and researchers share a strong interest in understanding and enhancing components of quality in child care and early education settings that support children’s development and ensure their school readiness. Children’s health and safety in child care is an important component and an essential basis of quality, since physical, cognitive, and social-emotional development are inextricably linked and related to children’s readiness for school. Children’s health, however, is an undermeasured aspect of school readiness. A major goal of the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) program, which provided child care subsidies to a monthly average of nearly 1.7 million low-income children in Fiscal Year 2010 through a block grant administered by the Federal Office of Child Care, is to provide access to high-quality care—built on a foundation that assures their health and safety.
The statute for the CCDF block grant program requires lead agencies in the states and territories to certify that state or local laws are in place that protect the health and safety of children in subsidized care in three broad areas: prevention and control of infectious diseases (including age-appropriate immunizations), building and physical premises safety, and minimum health and safety training appropriate to the provider settings. Additional statutory requirements support this overarching goal.