Importance of Health and Safety in Early Childhood

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 and safety might seem like basic elements of a good child care facility, these factors can often be overlooked or neglected.

Whether you are a parent searching for the right child care center for your toddler or are a daycare operator, health and safety should be the top priority. 

Cleanliness

A clean child care center looks good to prospective families. It also creates a good environment for the kiddos and the teachers. Clean surfaces help prevent the spread of illness, which is common in an early childhood setting.

Preschool cleaning supplies

Achieving a clean space boils down to having a consistent routine. Ensure that the physical environment is tidy and disinfected on a daily basis. 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.

Health and Safety Curriculum for Early Childhood

Safety extends into nearly all aspects of a child care facility and its day to day operations. Safety should be at the forefront of your teacher’s minds 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 kiddos. Budget some time to clean up after each activity.

This will not only reduce the work that teachers have to do after class but also teach the kiddos good habits that will carry on into the future.

First Aid

Unfortunately, kids getting hurt in the classroom is a very common thing. It goes without saying that all preschool teachers should have up to date first aid training and CPR qualifications.

An app with Staff Management can give you an overview of your teachers’ 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 be accessible at all times in case of emergency. All kits should be checked for expired supplies and restocked frequently.

On field trips, bring along a travel first aid kit. It is always better to be overprepared in this case.

Nutrition

Nutrition

Ensuring that their children receive nutritious meals at their child’s care 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 State 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.

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Importance of Health and Safety in Early Childhood

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Ron Spreeuwenberg

Ron is the Co-Founder & CEO of HiMama, where he leads all aspects of a social purpose business that helps early childhood educators improve learning outcomes for children.

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