Oral health and public health experts have updated the recommendations to prevent cavities (dental caries) for children less than 5 years of age. What’s new is a strong recommendation for the child’s pediatrician or dentist to apply fluoride varnish every 3 to 6 months, starting as soon as possible. Painting the teeth with fluoride varnish is easy. Good research shows that fluoride varnish reduces caries by as much as 59%. Painting fluoride varnish on the teeth protects the outside layer of tooth enamel for “baby teeth.” Baby teeth start forming before birth. Most finish developing during the first year of life. The formed teeth start to come up during the first year, and finish coming up by the time the child is three years old.

On December 6, 2012 ECELS presented an audio conference for Pennsylvania Child Care Health Consultants, Oral Health Professionals, Specialty Discipline Instructors, Head Start Health Coordinators and other professionals working on quallity improvement in early care and education. This audioconference, Prevention is Best: Promoting New and Effective Oral Health Habits in Early Childhood was presented by C. Eve J. Kimball, MD, PA AAP Pediatric Oral Health Advocate, Amy Requa, MSN, CRNP, Pennsylvania Head Start State Oral Health Coordinator, and Libby Ungvary, ECELS Director. To listen to the audioconference recording, click here. Open the attachments for Dr. Kimball's Handouts, and for Oral Health posters in English and Spanish. The attachments also include the Caring for Our Children-ECELS Handouts presented by Libby Ungvary, the Head Start presentation by Amy Requa and the UPMC Evaluation Form. Although UPMC CEU/CME is no longer available for listing to the audio conference, PA Key Professional Development credit is available by listening to the recording and submitting the UPMC Evaluation Form to ECELS. 12/2012

  • Managing Infectious Diseases 
  • Dental Check-up Resources 
  • Q&A: Cold Packs, Hearing Screens 
  • Why Not to Spank 
  • Caring for a Child with Special Needs: Diabetes, Tics  
  • Websites: USDA, Kids’ Questions, 
  • ECELS-Healthy Child Care PA 
  • Praise for WellCareTracker™  
  • Safe Scooting and Biking Tips 
  • Early Intervention 
  • Training for directors, health consultants, and early education staff 
  • SIDS-Infant Death Survival Guide
  • Food Allergy 
  • Classroom Pets and Animal Experiences 
  • Poison Ivy, Poison Oak and Poison Sumac 
  • Choosing and Using Pest Management Professionals 
  • Tip for Oral Health in Child Care 
  • The Pennsylvania Immunization Coalition 
  • Children with Special Needs Module-Online 
  • Motion Moments - 3 Videos 
  • Sun Protection is Essential


  • Heat-Related Illness
  • More Sun Safety Resources
  • Playground Supervision Online Course
  • Promote Influenza Vaccine for 2008
  • ECELS and Keystone STARS
  • Oral Health Resource
  •  Heat-related illness
  • Healthful Snacks
  • Vinegar as a Cleaning Solution
  • EPA Healthy Child Care Information
  • A New Website for ECELS
  • Drink Fluoridated Water
  • ECELS Technical Assistance & Professional Development Team
  • Tick Bites
  • Art Products Need the AP Seal


Early educators have a vital role in the lives of children. What teachers/caregivers do can directly impact each child’s health and wellbeing. Teachers need the knowledge, skills and tools to meet this awesome responsibility! ECELS recently revised three self-learning modules so they are now updated and easy-to-use in online or print formats:

Each module meets STAR Level 2 Performance Standards for Health and Safety and provides 2 hours of professional development credit. See the brief overview of each module below, click on the active link above or go to the ECELS website at www.ecels-healthychildcarepa.org Select the Professional Development/Training tab at the top of the page, then Self-Learning Modules. Find the one you want to use in the alphabetical listing of the more than 30 Self-Learning Modules that ECELS offers.

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Brushing children’s teeth during the day is a great way to promote health. It may also reduce the risk of tooth decay for young children. Bacteria can grow on toothbrushes that have been in someone’s mouth. They grow especially well on wet toothbrushes that are kept in closed, dark places. Follow these steps to make sure toothbrushes stay clean. Wet toothbrush bristles should not be covered. They should air dry.

ECELS offers many live and recorded webinars available to use for PA Key and Act 48 credit. The recordings are on the ECELS website a week or so after the live webinar. “Managing Challenging Behaviors” was the first ECELS webinar for 2016. It was presented live on 1/14/2016.

  • Noise and Management of Sound
  • Are Disinfectant/Sanitizer Wipes OK?
  • Promote 60 Minutes of Moderate to Strenuous Physical Activity Daily
  • Animals in Child Care
  • Upright Seating Lowers Oxygen of Young Infants
  • Check Out New AAP Web Site for Reliable Pediatric Information
  • Managing Chronic Health Needs in Child Care and Schools—A Quick Reference Guide
  • Vaccine News 
  • Reportable Illness
  • Start Safe: A Fire and Burn Safety Program for Preschoolers and Their Families—Free Materials 
  • Acidic Foods, Drinks, Candy Linked with Dentall Enamel Erosion