Choose Safe Places for Early Care
and Education in Minnesota
Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) Site Assessment and Consultation Unit (SAC) is exploring opportunities to help make sure that child care and early education programs are located in safe places - so that children aren't exposed to harmful chemicals during their care.
SAC activities are funded by the Agency for Toxic Substance and Disease Registry (ATSDR). ATSDR is leading this effort because, across the country, child care and early education programs were found on or near sites that could expose children and staff to environmental contamination. See the ATSDR Choose Safe Places for Early Care and Education Program webpage for more information about this national initiative.
MDH's goal is to help professionals in public health, community planning, licensing, environmental protection, early care and education, and other fields work together to create safe practices and safe spaces for kids in their communities.
Defining the landscape in MN
SAC is in Year 1 of this project. Our goal is to understand how to add consideration of environmental health concerns to child care and early education siting in MN. We are exploring the current roles stakeholders play when it comes to making sure that child care and early education programs are located safely. We will use what we learn to identify strategies that could improve current practices or identify gaps where improvements can be made.
Year 1 – through March 2018:Define the landscape in MN
Year 2 – April 2018 to March 2019:Develop a program plan
Year 3 – April 2019 to March 2020:Implement a pilot program
We all have a role to play:
- Health and environmental protection departments can review environmental data, make recommendations for environmental testing, and help child care and early education program operators and others understand testing results
- Early care and education licensing officials can consider environmental concerns in their licensing and inspection procedures
- Planners and zoning officials can ask questions about how a site was used in the past before giving a permit- and get the health department involved if needed
- Early care and education program operators can work with state and local health, licensing, and planning and zoning agencies to keep their program safe from dangerous chemicals
- Parents and other concerned community members can ask child care and early education providers questions about how a program site was used in the past
Printable Information Sheet
Liz Robertson, SAC Health Assessor/Project Lead
Prepared in cooperation with the
US Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry