“Thanks for everything, you taught my children a lot!” ~Kelly
Green Child Care
If you care about the environment and your family's health it's time to consider a green child care program!
Finding a Green Child Care Program
Choosing a child care program can be difficult. Not only do you want a safe, high quality child care program, but more and more parents are looking for a green child care program. I believe that "green" child care provides the best environment for children and the adults who love and care for them, so it's only natural to make green child care choices whenever I can. One of the choices I made was to become a certified Eco-Healthy Child Care through the Children's Environmental Health Network.
Choose Green Child Care for Health
Children's developing bodies are particularly sensitive to toxins and irritants in cleaners, carpeting, furniture and other elements. That's why I strive to reduce your child's exposure to potentially harmful substances in the child care environment. I also encourage children to respect the earth and its precious resources through example, discussions, and daily activities.
Green Child Care Reduces Lead Exposure
Lead is dangerous for all people, but especially for children. Even low levels of exposure can cause changes in children's mental development and behavior such as hyperactivity, poor fine motor skills, delayed reaction time, and lowered performance on intelligence tests. I've made the green child care choice to reduce your child's exposure to lead by:
- Avoiding the use of imported or handmade pottery.
- Using only cold water for making formula, cooking, and drinking.
- Regularly wiping down surfaces to remove dust.
- Using paint with low or no-VOC (volatile organic compounds), and painting only outside of child care hours.
Green Child Care Avoids Chemicals
Children are much more vulnerable to chemicals than adults, because their nervous systems are still developing and much more likely to be affected by harmful chemicals. Very young children are especially at risk when they crawl on the floor then put their hands into their mouths; transferring chemicals right into their systems. Some of the ways to avoid using chemicals in a green child care program are:
- Choosing organic and/or child-safe fertilizers for the yard and garden, and using mulch instead of weed sprays in the flower beds.
- Avoiding the use of pesticides unless necessary, and applying necessary pesticides only after hours or over the weekend.
- Providing rough mats at all entrances to avoid shoes tracking chemicals into the center.
- Vacuuming carpets and rugs daily.
- Cleaning carpets with biodegradable carpet cleaners or vinegar/water at least twice a year.
- Choosing earth-friendly cleaners or vinegar/water solution and pure baking soda instead of chemical cleansers.
- Sanitizing with Shaklee Basic-G instead of chlorine bleach.
- Using a digital instead of a traditional mercury thermometer.
Choose Green Child Care for the Earth
Paper or plastic? No thank you, we prefer reusable! According to Blog.Greenfeet.com neither paper or plastic are a good choice for the Earth. Both require large amounts of natural resources to product and most of them will eventually end up in a landfill - not something we want to be a part of! Reusable products are used by our family and in the child care program as much as possible. Some of the reusable products used in a green child care include:
- Reusable shopping and produce bags instead of paper or plastic.
- Cloth napkins for meals and snacks instead of paper.
- Rags for cleaning instead of paper towels.
- "Real" plates, cups and silverware instead of paper, styrofoam and plastic utensils.
- Cloth towels instead of paper towels in the kitchen.
- Cloth diapers instead of disposable on our own children, and on enrolled children when parents prefer.
More Green Child Care Practices
Our efforts to "go green" permeate family life as well as the child care program. Whenever it's possible to make a choice for green - child care or family - we'll do it! Here are some of the other ways we strive to provide a green child care setting for your child:
- Offering locally-grown or organic food whenever possible.
- Supporting local businesses and buying items made closer to home.
- Staying up-to-date on recalled toys and immediately removing recalled toys from our inventory.
- Avoiding plastic items and toys with PVC.
- Choosing non-toxic art supplies.
- Keeping garbage covered to deter pests and avoid needing pesticides.
- Choosing earth-friendly laundry products.
- Line-drying laundry whenever the weather permits.
- Careful use and conservation of water.
- Regularly recycling glass, paper, plastic and aluminum.
Green Child Care Activities
Not only do we learn how to care for the Earth, we turn "trash" into "treasure" by reusing all kinds of things in our daily learning activities!