This checklist of things to look for when searching for a healthy childcare center was offered by Seventh Generation. It’s a great guide to conditions that you—or the daycare center staff—may not have thought of.
Take your time to look around. Daycare is a home-away-from-home and you’ll want to set high standards for the center itself, not to mention the staff.
- Indoor Air Quality: Look for things like VOC-free paints and cleaners, indoor plants to support air quality and a parking lot no-idling policy.
- Safe Toys: Are toys free of phthalates, PVC and BPA?
- Textured Runner Mats: Are they at every entrance? Shoes can carry in dirt and toxins.
- Cleaner Choices: Cleaning product choices can have the biggest impact on indoor air quality. How does the center choose household cleaners and disinfecting agents? Do they use botanical options? Ask to view the daycare’s documented cleaning protocols.
- Ask About Art!: What craft supplies will your child use? Look for information from the American Society for Testing and Materials, and for supplies certified by the Art and Craft Materials Institute (ACMI).
- Playground Equipment: When was it made? What are the materials and finishes used? Some older wood may have been treated with chromium copper arsenate.
- Pest Management: What is the process for eliminating bugs? Non-toxic solutions are a must.
- Drinking Water: Has the center’s tap water been tested for lead and other contaminants?
- Food Prep: Where is the food preparation and storage area? What types of containers are used – plastic or non-leaching materials like glass and stainless steel?
- Non-Toxic Soft Furnishings: Are there toxic flame retardants in the bedding, furniture or carpets? Look for options like FSC-certified wood frames, naturally flame retardant materials like wool, and nontoxic, formaldehyde-free stains and finishes.
Thank you, Seventh Generation! (We can’t locate the original webpage to link to or we would! )