Keeping kids green

Eco-health checklist helps childcare providers create safe environments

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You may have created an environmentally friendly home environment for your young children, but how green is their day when they leave your eco-healthy environs and spend time with a child-care provider? The Oregon Environmental Council is spearheading a program to help provide some answers. The Eco-Healthy Childcare Checklist program provides a 25-step checklist for providers—addressing everything from air quality to non-toxic toys—to determine their space’s eco-healthiness and bring attention to areas needing improvement. Once the facility qualifies, it receives an endorsement certificate and is listed as an eco-healthy provider on the Web site ( Copies of the checklist can be downloaded from the site, which also offers tips on how to address eco-health concerns.

Eco-Healthy Childcare Checklist (excerpt)

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We avoid conditions that lead to excess moisture, which contributes to the growth of mold and mildew Yes No We do not use scented candles or air fresheners Yes No We use biodegradable, non-toxic cleaning products and the least-toxic disinfecting products Yes No We use only low-VOC latex paints and do not paint when children are present Yes No Furniture is in good condition without foam or inside stuffing exposed (same goes for stuffed animals or any other foam item) Yes No We use only non-toxic art supplies approved by the Art & Creative Materials Institute Yes No We do not have playground equipment made of treated wood Yes No