General Information for Government Agencies about Healthy Child Care

More than 11 million children under age five are in child care where they spend an average of 40 hours per week, most of it indoors.  Indoor air pollution levels can be 2-5 times greater than outdoor levels.  Exposure to lead, certain chemicals in cleaning products, furniture and toys, radon, mold, pests and improperly applied pesticides can pose immediate and long-term risks for children’s health and development.

There are no universal standards for environmental health for child-care facilities, although increasingly, states and local governments are setting standards to reduce exposure to some environmental contaminants. National resources such as Caring for our Children have been updated to establish comprehensive guidelines for reducing exposure to environmental contaminants in child-care settings.  This page provides resources that government agencies, including child-care licensing authorities, can use to address environmental exposures in child-care settings.