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Eco-Healthy Child Care goes national!

Ecohealthychildcarelogo Three years ago Renee and I encouraged our preschool to become an Eco-Healthy Child Care. At the time, the certification program was offered through the Oregon Environmental Council. They gave us a checklist of best practices such as using green cleaners, avoiding soft plastic vinyl toys, and encouraging parents not to idle their cars, and over a few months our school implemented all of the items needed to qualify. It didn't take a lot of time, and it created a healthier environment for the kids. The OEC posted a list of certified schools on its site to help parents seek out pro-actively green preschools.

Now that program is going national! The Children's Environmental Health Network is taking over the Eco-Healthy Child Care program and any child care facility in the US can go through the steps to become certified. There's now a $25 fee, and the CEHN will provide free training and marketing. Every year the CEHN will target 4 to 6 states where it will actively promote the program, raising public awareness about the importance of choosing eco-healthy environments for children. If your child attends a school or child care that could use a little green push, this program provides a great framework and easy-to-follow checklist to get through the process. And if you're looking for a certified program for your child, check out their list to see if any schools have qualified in your area. Keep checking back every few weeks because some schools (like our old preschool) are in the process of getting their certification renewed and are not showing up on the list yet.


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