ECELS recognizes the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Multi-hazard Planning for Child Care course as a quality learning experience for emergency planning. It has many worksheets and suggestions from experts that help child care providers make effective plans.

Section 13 of Model Child Care Health Policies, 5th edition includes polices that early educators can use to write "best practice" emergency plans. The Appendixes of Model Child Care Health Policies include some documents that every program should have on hand: Appendix I, Emergency Information Form for Children with Special Health Care Needs, Appendix CC. Incident Report Form, Appendix DD. Child Care Initial Rapid Damage Assessment, Appendix EE. Sample Letter of Agreement with Emergency Evacuation Site, Appendix FF. Sample Letter to Parents About Evacuation Arrangements, Appendix GG. Evacuation Drill Long.  If you prefer to purchase the hard copy of Model Child Care Health Policies, 5th edition, it is available from the bookstore of the American Academy of Pediatrics order it online or call 888-227-1770.

For state-authorized training credit: Download the Emergency Plan Checklist that follows this description of the self-learning module. Identify the places where your emergency plan needs to be improved. Scan and e-mail or fax the following three documents to ECELS for 2 hours of state-authorized professional development credit that ECELS to review and approve:

  1. Your certificate of successful completion of the FEMA course
  2. A copy of your facility's updated Emergency Plan
  3. A copy of your completed Emergency Plan Checklist showing your plans for improvement. ECELS T/TA staff will review your work and, if needed, give you feedback you can use to further improve your plan

Be sure to follow the instructions in the “Important Reminders” box next to the list of self-learning modules on this webpage to submit your work for review by ECELS. (K7-C3-84). Instructions updated 6/2017.

Child Care Aware® has a website with updated tools and information about preparing and handling crisis and diisaster. Their resources inlcude tools to support children and families as they cope with any tragedy as well asl resources to help restore disrupted child care services. Got to the website pages on this topic to access this excellent information. The attached document was prepared by Linda Harwenko at the U.S. Department of Defense, as a handout for an ECELS audio conference. It clearly details how early education and before and after school child care programs should prepare emergency action plans for their center - including helpful forms to use for emergency planning and managing events during an emergency. It describes team building, identification of temporary site locations, budget, supplies, evacuation considerations, and parent communication. Reviewed and reaffirmed 6/2018.


PEMA has planning guidelines specific to child care found by clicking here, and then putting "child care" in the PEMA website search box. This site has the Child Care Emergency Planning Guide, a set of supporting forms and checklists as well as a fill-in-the-blank basic emergency plan. Other good information is available at  Reviewed and reaffirmed 4/2018.

These are the handouts of the PowerPoint slides from the ECELS  audio conference on Emergency Preparedness in Early Education and Child Care Programs held in September 2003. The speakers were Debi Mathias, BS, Jamie Calabrese, MD, FAAP and Linda Harwanko (U.S.DOD). The handouts were reviewed and reaffirmed as relevant 11/2012.

  • Promoting Social-Emotional Health 
  • Developmental Screening 
  • Playground Safety: Professional Development and CPSI Inspections 
  • Protective Play Surfacing Regulation 
  • Child Care Health Advocates Share Great Ideas 
  • Use Car Seats Only for Vehicular Travel 
  • Peanut Allergy and Cleaning 
  • Food Allergy Action Plan and Form 
  • Medication Administration: PA Child Care Facility Survey
  • Bottles, Pacifiers and Sippy Cups Cause Many Injuries 
  • 2012-2013 Flu Vaccine Recommendations 
  • Violence: How to reduce its impact on children 
  • Let’s Move! Child Care Activity Calendar 
  • Asthma Devices 
  • Insect Bites and Stings in the Fall 
  • Special Care Plans—Braedon’s Story 
  • ADHD Treatment for Preschoolers 
  • Emergency Preparedness Manual
  • Influenza Vaccine for 2015-2016
  • Screen Time, Child Development and Nutrition
  • Organic Food – Is It Healthier?
  • Background Music and Noise Interferes with Language Learning?
  • Oral Health Screening Added to Routine Well-Child Visit Schedule
  • National Center on Health—Materials All Early Educators Can Use
  • Increasing Physical Activity in Afterschool Programs
  • Three Newly Revised and a List of All ECELS Self-Learning Modules
  • Eating Together - Mealtime Matters

Home-based child care staff can use this module to inspect their homes for hazards. The module uses a checklist derived from Caring for Our Children: National Health and Safety Performance Standards and FCCERS-R criteria. For professional development credit, PA early care and education staff should download and follow the instructions using the materials for the module in the file below this description.  Complete and submit plans for improvement for any hazards found. Submit completed work for review for credit by scanning the pages and attaching them to an e-mail, sending them by fax or by surface mail to ECELS. The module may also be complete online at
Be sure to follow the instructions in the “Important Reminders” box next to the list of self-learning modules on this webpage. Instructions updated 3/2017.(FCCERS-R, K7.1 C1, K7.7 C1, K7.8 C1, K7.8 C2) Revised 3/2017.

The Emergency Management Institute of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) offers a 2 hour online course called Multihazard Planning for Child Care that FEMA posted on March 13, 2012. Successful completion earns 0.2 CEUs. Click here to access the course. Many helpful emergency planning tools, suggested activities and games to teach children about emergency preparedness are at   4/2013

This module has seven activities described in Items A. through G. below. Items A, B, C, and G must be done individually by each staff member who is seeking professional development credit from ECELS. Items D, E and F may be done by program staff working together.

  • Item A. Read about fire safety measures.
  • Item B. Complete a Fire Safety/Emergency Hazard Checklist (B1) and use it to develop an Action Plan (B2) to make needed improvements.
  • Item C. Report the results of your use of the National Fire Protection Association's Learn Not to Burn Curriculum to teach fire safety skills to children in your care
  • Item D. Use Section 13 and Appendixes EE through GG of Model Child Care Health Policies to write your own policy for handling emergencies and disasters. This publication includes fill-in-the-blank evacuation polices as well as associated forms. It is free online. Hard copy printed versions of this book are available for purchase online from the AAP bookstore or by calling 866-843-2271.
  • Item E. Prepare a diagram that shows two evacuation routes to a safe area from every occupied area of the facility.
  • Item F. Work with a local fire safety professional during an on-site training visit to have the fire safety professional review your evacuation plan, your policy and other aspects of fire safety in your facility according to the PA DPW regulatory requirement 3270.31 (e)(4) (ii).
  • Item G. Complete the Self-Assessment.

Download the instructions you need to do the work. ECELS will grant training credit once per person for successfully completing this module. Completion of Items A, B, C, D, E and G do not count toward the annual Pennsylvania child care regulatory requirement of in-person training by a fire safety professional. Only Item F, the in-person fire safety training component, meets the PA DPW regulatory requirement in 3270.31(e)(4)(ii). Reminder: Staff members must have in-person fire safety training by a paid or volunteer fire safety professional each year.

PA child care practitioners may submit completed work for review for credit by scanning the pages and attaching them to an e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., sending them by fax to 484-446-3255 or by surface mail to ECELS. Be sure to follow the instructions in the “Important Reminders” box next to the list of self-learning modules on this webpage. To have ECELS review your work for state-authorized training credit, select the button that says "Click Here to Order SLM Reviews." Follow the instructions and pay for the review of your work. (ECERS-ITERS: Personal Care Routines. K7-C3-82.) Updated 11/5/2013.