DESCRIPTION OF THE STRATEGY
Protecting children in child care facilities is an essential complement to preventing exposure in the home environment. Providing facilities with marketing and technical assistance through a recognition program can motivate them to reduce lead hazards in the facilities and reduce children’s risk of exposure outside the home.
Participating child care programs will go beyond the requirements of the law to address lead hazards.
Reducing lead hazards in these facilities will benefit all of the children who use the child care center’s services.
Child care providers are typically reluctant to address lead hazards in their facilities given competing priorities and resource limitations. They may oppose mandatory requirements. Recognizing leadership on lead safety within the child care community may help allay fears, serve as a model of success, and possibly help facilitate future acceptance of a mandate.
Scope of Potential Impact
City - or - County - Wide
Human Services Agency
|Code or Building Inspection Agency|
Day Care Providers
Approximately 0.25 FTE for two years to develop and implement the program. Leading child care providers need to participate in the development of the program so that they can support it in the community.
Other resource requirements:
A free risk assessment is a strong incentive for child care facilities to consider participating. The sponsoring entity may contract out the risk assessment or use qualified in-house staff. The contractual cost for a risk assessment is about $500 per facility, including $100 for lab costs.
It is helpful to have in-house staff licensed as a lead risk assessor so that a risk assessment can be provided in conjunction with other technical assistance.
Staff will need to conduct a four-hour site visit to evaluate each facility for lead-based paint hazards and other hazards.
It will take 6-12 months to establish the program, build support for it, and develop materials. Full implementation usually will take an additional year. Child care facilities are busiest—and therefore unavailable—during August and September when children are returning to school or enrolling.
Moderate. The program is feasible but to reach the child care facilities most in need of support and oversight, the program should ideally to be part of a larger effort to improve health conditions within all child care facilities. In addition, the program is difficult to implement if narrowly focused on lead hazards. Most child care facilities view asthma triggers such as mold, cockroaches, and dust mites as a bigger concern. Therefore, services that address a broad mix of environmental hazards will be more readily accepted.
Lead hazards are most effectively addressed in the context of a broader evaluation of environmental hazards, especially mold and moisture; pests and pesticides; and carbon monoxide.
Communities need to be prepared to identify potential resources to address lead hazards and provide technical assistance to help facilities obtain and use those resources.