Many children spend a significant part of their day in early care and education (ECE) programs. It is of utmost importance, then, that ECE programs are in areas where the natural environment (e.g., air, water, soil) do not harm children’s health.
In the United States, regulations and strategies that guide ECE siting are not adequate. Planners, because of their training in site planning and plan making, are critical to this process. But planners need a better understanding of their role in creating healthy childcare environments and they need more knowledge about environmental health (EH) and EH factors that may influence siting decisions. Planners also need more guidance in cross-sector collaboration, especially with EH professionals.
Understanding important environmental health concepts, working collaboratively with affiliated professionals, and having the necessary resources to site ECE programs would allow planners to plan for environmental health and take action to ensure that ECE programs are clean, safe, and free of contaminants.
This module provides strategies, resources, and other information to promote safer ECE siting.