Eco-Healthy Home-Based Childcare
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Providing healthy childcare for our children is super important. Eco-Healthy home-based childcare is not as easy to get as you might think. What is healthy childcare when running a home daycare?
Why is healthy home-based childcare more important than most any other healthy environment? Because kids, with smaller bodies than adults, who are growing super-fast, are more susceptible to toxins than anyone else. They are developing and what they are exposed to effects that development.
Eco-Healthy Child Care
According to the Eco-Healthy Child Care website, “Forty-two percent of young children spend at least 35 hours a week in some form of child care. And emerging science is linking chemicals commonly found in child care settings to asthma, lower IQ and developmental disabilities.”
This is pretty staggering information!
What do kids need to grow up healthy and to their full potential?
- Healthy food
- Clean water
- Nurturing relationships
- Physical activity
- Quality sleep
- Healthy environment
Often times the healthy environment is pushed to the back when we think about what kids need to thrive, but environmental factors such as pure clean water and air are super important for all of our health!
Why try to change? We can all do more to make sure kids get what they need to grow up healthy. As childcare providers and daycare providers, we have a great opportunity to affect a child’s health as they grow.
I keep kids for 10 hours a day and my kids are here for most of that time, at least 8 hours. That’s a lot of hours I can provide more health for them, so I try my best to do as much as I can.
There are many reasons I want to have an eco-friendly home for the kids I care for and my family. I want to challenge myself to be better in every area of my profession and this is not less important than what kind of activities I provide or what kind of food I cook. I want my kids to eat healthy right? So, I need to learn more about what healthy food is and how to get it.
Parents appreciate you having the best interest of their kids at heart. They want someone who cares about every area of their child’s development caring for their kids. They see when you try to improve the environment and they appreciate it. That’s good for business.
As you learn more, you can have the opportunity to educate your parents on more issues that affect children’s health.
Our kids are our future and if we want that future to be healthy, we need to try to give kids healthy places to grow up and learn. Find out more about making healthy environments for children from CEHN.
Little changes make a big difference. If all of us work to make small changes, that adds up to a lot over the course of our country and world. You don’t have to do it all at once, but we can all do something to improve. I love learning more ways I can do better.
Natural daycares are rare. What does that mean? The term applies to daycare providers who work towards providing kids a healthy childhood. Less artificial colors in their food, fewer preservatives, reducing pesticides by washing produce well or buying organic. Providing pure water to drink and clean air to breathe. Not bringing more toxic chemicals into the environment on toys, in cleaners, in bedding and other things kids use in daycare.
How can I have a Healthy Child Care Facility?
Start with what you know and go from there. Do you know things you can easily change? Can you buy natural cleaners instead of conventional ones full of chemicals? Can you use vinegar to clean your windows instead of Windex? It’s cheaper and works better.
When you use bleach, do you make sure to use as little as possible or do you just pour it on? Do you use disinfectant wipes where the residue will get on kids or just be super careful to use them in moderation and allow the chemicals to fully dry before kids are exposed to those areas?
What about smoking and vaping? Do you make sure your parents know it’s not allowed on daycare property? What about fragrances? Many candles, scented and unscented are as toxic as cigarettes. Did you know spraying air fresheners was hazardous to people’s health?
The dangers of fragrance for children
There is a ton of information available about fragrances and their dangers. Click here to read more in easy to read language. I know that fragrances make me immediately super sick because I have an aldehyde allergy and aldehydes are one of the most popular (and most toxic) ingredients in fragrance, but I didn’t also know that fragrances cause obesity, infertility, birth defects, ADHD, autism, autoimmune disorders, diabetes and possibly even breast cancer.
Fragrance is also an endocrine disruptor which causes a host of other problems for your health. They also cause concentration and breathing problems, tremors, eye irritations, damage to kidneys liver and central nervous system and the list goes on and on. Fragrance is an important place to start to have a healthy childcare.
The fragrances in our perfumes, lotions, soaps, cleaners, air fresheners, shampoo, dryer sheets and everything else could be killing you and your family. One small thing like eliminating fragrance from your home can improve health so much! There is so much more we can learn and so much more we can do.
Eco-healthy practices for families
Can you buy your Lysol in a spray bottle instead of an aerosol can? That can cut down on the toxicity of your air by quite a bit!
When you learn a new way to provide a healthier environment, do you share that information with your daycare families and help educate them? I know they will appreciate it in the long run.
You are holding the future in your arms and you can change the future for the good by giving your kids the best health you can. It’s such an honor to have that responsibility.
Healthy Home-Based Childcare
Once you get started with a healthier child care, you may want to look into getting certified so you can challenge yourself to do even more. We did and we are setting goals to reach even higher in our quest for health for ourselves and our daycare kids.
Over 2,200 child care facilities serving thousands of children have already been Eco-Healthy Child Care endorsed and you can too. It’s a program that partners with childcare to reduce environmental health hazards found in child care facilities. I loved the certification process because it made me think and helped me come up with ideas to do more for my eco healthy home-based childcare.
We got a certificate to display that our clients and potential clients can see. We also materials to help educate ourselves and the families we serve. I hope you will consider getting certified too or at least looking at the qualifications and making some changes in your daily practices.
Hi. I love this! I work in an ece Centre which is rural and love it. I was just wondering how you would do your set up with 2 teachers? As I believe it will be beneficial to have two adults with possibly more children for ratios and also great for the kids.
I would just do it the same way, make a plan on paper with the two of you and make sure you are on the same page with what you believe is best for the kids. I’m excited that you’re interested, you can check out the eco healthy website I have linked in the article and come up with your plan. If you’re thinking of leaving your center to do home based care with two people, start with checking your local regulations. If we have two teachers in oklahoma, we can’t have more kids in a home unless we get a special large home permit. So find out what your regulations are and go from there. Thanks so much for reading this and checking it out.