Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Eco-Healthy Childcare

The Oregon Environmental Council has recently begun certifying childcare centers that take steps to make their environments healthier for children. Currently, certified centers are mainly in Oregon and California with plans to expand nationally over the next couple of years. Until your child's program can be officially certified, check out their checklist and recommend these 25 steps your child's childcare provider. The list focuses on simple, low cost steps such as the use of non-toxic techniques to limit pests, use of biodegradable, non-toxic cleaning products, use of low-VOC paints, not allowing cars to idle, techniques to minimize lead and mercury exposure, elimination of wall to wall carpets, use of non-toxic art supplies, and recycling. In addition to these suggestions, my daughter's daycare provider is very focused on feeding the children healthy food. They feed the children mainly organic, unprocessed food and very little sugar. I have noticed that the children tend to be healthier, calmer, better behaved and more focused than your average gaggle of 2-5 year olds. And, now that this list is available from the Oregon Environmental Council, I will suggest these ideas to our childcare director to make my daughter's daily environment healthier for her now and in the future. After all, my goal is to protect planet Earth so that she has somewhere safe and healthy to live as she, and her children and all future generations grow up.

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