This workshop uses the interactive curriculum from the Food Allergy Network. It includes a video and mock epinephrine (EpiPen) demonstration. Participants practice reading food labels to find hidden ingredients that are the same as common food allergens and learn the basics of food allergy and allergen types in foods. The group discusses how to modify the child care setting for a child with a food allergy, and a plan for handling a food allergy response. 

Food-borne illness is very common. The risk of this type of illness increases in warm weather. Sending food from home and eating out-of-doors may allow perishable food to reach temperatures that foster bacterial growth. A 2011 study reported in the journal, Pediatrics measured temperatures of lunches that families packed and sent with their preschool children. The researchers found only 1.6% of lunches with perishable items were at safe temperature. The study was done in nine Texas child care centers and measured temperatures in the packed lunches of more than 700 preschoolers. Even when sent with ice packs, most of the lunches were at unsafe temperatures over an hour before the food was ready to be served. The message is clear: Early educators and families must adopt practices that ensure food is at a safe temperature before feeding it to children. 

 ECELS/Healthy Child Care PA outlined the key gaps and necessary steps that ECELS recommends to improve the quality of early education and child care in Pennsylvania. This fact sheet provides data and talking points to guide policy-makers and other stakeholders seeking quality child care. 2007 published, reaffirmed 2012.

This online professional development opportunity is for directors and administrative staff in centers that serve 25 or more children and who are new users (subscribers) using the WellCareTrackerTM Internet application software, available from ECELS. The professional development experience involves working with the user-friendly internet application on any computer connected to the Internet to review children's health records, identify and track gaps in the children's required preventive health services. WellCareTrackerTM software uses the dates of preventive health care services entered for each child at any time thereafter to report whether the child is currently up to date, overdue or will be due in the next three months for specific services. In addition to reports for individual children that can be given to parents, the system produces a report for all the children entered. This report makes it easy to  track needed services and follow-up with families. Currently, the PA Department of Health is doing random audits of the immunization records that state regulations require child care programs keep on file to show children are up to date. The health reports should give information about screening tests and special needs too. WellCareTrackerTM lets staff make sure children have received all the services that they need to be healthy and ready to learn. In addition to being protected against vaccine preventable infectious disease, they need to be free of treatable conditions such as hearing and vision problems, anemia or lead poisoning. Look for the detailed description of the self-learning module on the left pane of the WellCareTracker(TM) home page at www.wellcaretracker.org under "ECELS - Self Learning Module." PA child care practitioners may 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. Be sure to follow the instructions in the “Important Reminders” box next to the list of self-learning modules on this webpage. (ECERS-ITERS: Personal Care Routines, Program Structure. K7-C3-78 or K8-C3-91. 6/2017

Children die in hot vehicles every year. Thirty or more children die annually from heat stroke after being left unattended in vehicles.On sunny days the interior of vehicles heats up rapidly and gets very hot. This happens even on relatively mild or cool sunny days. On days when the outdoor temperature is just 72°F, the internal vehicle temperature can reach 117°F in an hour. Most of the temperature rise (80%) occurs in the first 30 minutes. On days when outdoor temperatures exceed 86°F, the temperature in a vehicle can quickly reach 134 to 154°F. Opening windows a small amount does not effectively decrease either the rate of heat rise or the maximum temperature reached. In fact, sunlight coming through open car windows makes the car work like an oven.

Steps for child care facilities to prevent illness. This approach is for all facilities, but will be especially helpful to those who want to meet the Pennsylvania standards for STARS. 

See Managing Infectious Diseases in Child Care and Schools, 4th Edition available at https://shop.aap.org/ or search www.healthychildren.org for more information. In PA, please send your health and safety request with your name and phone number to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

This updated module explains current nationally recommended immunizations, requirements for early care and education (ECE) programs in Pennsylvania, tools to manage immunization records for children in care and steps to take during an outbreak. View online videos and learn about vaccines on the website of the Vaccine Education Center of The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. ECE staff may earn 2 hours of professional development credit for completing this module. Follow the instructions in the "Important Reminders" box beside the list of self-learning modules for ECELS to review your work to award professional development credit. 1/20

As you prepare for fall enrollment, now is a good time for early care and education programs to make sure all staff are up-to-date with recommended immunizations.  Getting vaccinated is an important part of staying healthy.  Routine immunization of adults is the best way to protect yourself against vaccine-preventable diseases.  Several of the vaccines routinely recommended for adults will prevent diseases that can be spread to children in the child care setting, including pertussis(whooping cough), varicella(chicken pox), measles, mumps, rubella and influenza.

Start your influenza vaccine efforts now too!  All children 6 months of age and older and staff should get influenza vaccine.   

This workshop enables the user to learn how to assess health and safety practices in programs for infants and toddlers in conjunction with use of the ITERS assessment tool. Discuss feeding, diapering, sleeping, fostering early brain development, managing illness and more. Use the assessment to make improvements in the program. 

Follow the American Academy of Pediatrics policy about preventing sleep related deaths in group care settings. Standards 2.2.0.2, 3.1.4.1, and 3.1.4.2 of the updated, HTML version of Caring for Our Children, say what should be done. Many early childhood programs must change some common practices.