Good programs take many precautions to keep children healthy and safe. Teachers check the environment before children arrive and make sure it remains in good shape throughout the day. Parents and families may not immediately notice these precautions, or they might not know what to look for.

 Here are some of the things that you should see when visiting a center or family child care home.



1. Electrical outlets are covered with outlet plugs.

2. Floors are carpeted and free of objects that might cause children to trip.

3. Toys are clean, nontoxic, and large enough that they cannot be swallowed; they have no small or breakable parts.

4. High chairs, changing tables, and strollers are equipped with safety straps; teachers always use the straps.

5. Cribs have no more than 2-3/8 inches of space between slats.

6. A fully stocked first-aid kit is kept on hand.

7. Teachers have been certified in CPR and trained in other emergency procedures.

8. The diaper-changing area is well organized with supplies and extra clothes within easy reach. Also in this area is a sink, stocked with disinfectant, paper towels; and a trash can that opens with a foot pedal.

9. Teachers hold infants with their bodies at an angle when feeding them bottles; children are never left to “feed themselves” from bottles propped on pillows.

© National Association for the Education of Young Children — Promoting excellence in early childhood education