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Daycare Safety

Definition of Daycare
I. Family Daycare/ Group Family Daycare

Takes place in a home setting.

Licensed providers are required to take special
trainings on health, nutrition and child development.
Homes are inspected by the state for health and safety.
Family daycare providers can care for up to 6
Group family daycare providers can care for up to 12
Small group of children allows for more one on one
If you have more than one child, they can be taken
care in the same location.
Family daycare providers tend to be located within the
same community as the parents.
Definition Continued

II. Center Daycare

A daycare center has a lot (always over 12) of children.

It is a structured environment.
Licensed and inspected by the state for health and safety.
Most states require that staff members have training in
early childhood development as well as health and safety
and nutrition.
Daycare Statistics

In 1998 the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) published a

staff study, Safety Hazards in Child Care Settings, in which they
surveyed 220 licensed daycare settings nationwide. Background
information to the study provided the following statistics:
In 1997 there were 21 million children under age 6 in the
Almost 13 million of them were placed in non-parental child
care during some portion of the day
About 29% of these children are in center-based care,
including day care centers, Head Start programs, and
nursery schools.
The other 71% of these children are in non-center-based
care, including family child care, in-home child care, and
care by a relative.
Daycare Statistics Continued

From 1990 to 1997 at least 56 children died in childcare

Almost 28 of those children died from asphyxia.
In 1997 31,000 children were admitted to U.S. emergency
rooms for injuries which occurred in child care/school
Daycare Statistics

The CPSC staff study examined safety in the following product areas:
1. Cribs
2. Soft bedding
3. Playground surfacing
4. Playground surface maintenance
5. Child safety gates
6. Window blind cords
7. Drawstrings on children's clothing
8. And recalled children's products
The study showed that all of the daycare settings surveyed posed
safety hazards to the children.
These are the percentage of Child Care Centers with Safety Hazard.
The chart refers to four types of licensed child care settings visited:
federal General Services Administration child care centers, non-profit
centers, in-home settings, and for-profit centers.
Overall SA Non- In- For-Profit
Profit Home

Unsafe Cribs 8% 10% 15% 8% 0%

Soft Bedding Present 19% 42% 21% 8% 14%

Playground Safety: Unsafe 24% 5% 18% 46% 17%

Playground Safety: Poor 27% 11% 24% 33% 31%
Safety Gates Not Used 13% 6% 8% 21% 13%

Blind Cord Loops Present 26% 22% 31% 26% 20%

Drawstrings on Childrens 38% 30% 45% 26% 47%

Recalled Products in Use 5% 4% 5% 6% 4%
Safety Tips
Some questions parents should ask when
considering a daycare setting
1. What is the caregiver to child ratio?
The lower the ratio, the more attention the child will receive.
2. Is the facility licensed? If so, by whom?
Ask to see certificates; licensed facilities follow stricter
3. How long has the facility been in operation?
How many years of experience and training do the Director
and/or primary caregivers have?
4. Have the primary caregiver and other staff undergone CPR
Safety Tips
More questions parents should ask

5. Has any child been seriously injured or died while in the facility?
6. Can you observe the caregiver/s in action?
This will give you a chance to see how she/he interacts with
the children as well the hygiene procedures.
7. How will the provider discipline your child?
How will you be informed about your child's misconduct and
the disciplinary measures taken?
8. If your child is hurt in the day care how will the child be treated
and how will you be informed.
9. If the children are taken out on outings what are the measures to
keep them safe? How will you be contacted in case of an
Safety Tips
For Daycare Providers
Regardless of whether you run a licensed Daycare Center or
family/group daycare center, or just provide child care to a family
member or friend, avoid having the following products in the daycare
1. Openings that could entrap a childs head or limbs
2. Elevated surfaces that are inadequately guarded
3. Lack of specified surfacing and fall zones under and around
climbable equipment
4. Mismatched size and design of equipment for the intended users
5. Insufficient spacing between equipment
6. Tripping hazards
7. Components that can pinch, sheer, or crush body tissues
8. Equipment that is known to be of a hazardous type (such as large
animal swings)
Safety Tips
More Tips for Daycare Providers
9. Sharp points or corners
10. Splinters
11. Protruding nails, bolts, or other components that could entangle
clothing or snag skin
12. Loose, rusty parts
13. Hazardous small parts that may become detached during normal
use or reasonably foreseeable abuse of the equipment and that
present a choking, aspiration, or ingestion hazard to a child
14. Flaking paint
15. Paint that contains lead or other hazardous materials
Both parents and providers can refer to the following resources to
ensure the safety and quality of child care.

National Resource Center

Child Care Health
American Academy of Pediatrics
Consumer and Product Safety Commission
The National Safe Kids campaign
1. American Academy of Pediatrics:
2. Center for Disease Control and Preventio
Parent-Provider Safety Checklist
3. Consumer Product Safety Commission:
Safety Hazards in Child Care Settings
4. National Resource Center:
Stepping Stones, 2nd Edition