Caring for Our Children, National Health and Safety Performance Standards: Guidelines for Out-of-Home Child Care, third edition, 2011 is the key national reference document that provides standards, rationale, and evidence for guidelines for out-of-home child care. It is available on the Internet from the National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care at  Hard copy version of the book can be purchased from the bookstore of the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the National Association for the Education of Young Children.

This entirely online updated guide on the federally supported Child Welfare Information Gateway supports working with parents, caregivers and children to prevent child abuse and neglect. The guide describes protective factors that reduce the risk of child maltreatment, as well as strategies and practices for supporting families. In addition to a directory of national organizations, the guide offers tip sheets on parenting topics in English and in Spanish. Go to the website, and then search for or select the title "Strengthening Families" to access these materials.

The CCHC Tool Kit contains many resources that CCHCs can use in their work with early education and child care programs. Some are available or can be ordered online; others are available using web links to their sources listed in the resource section of this ECELS website.  Occasionally, a question may arise that is not addressed by the items listed in the Tool Kit. For these, you can contact other health and safety professionals who have the needed expertise. If you are located in Pennsylvania, for further assistance contact ECELS-Healthy Child Care PA by phone at 800-243-2357 or 484-446-3003 or by e-mail at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. CCHCs from other states may contact Healthy Child Care America, a national center managed by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP/HCCA) at or the National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care at 11/2012

This updated addendum to the Tool Kit for Child Care Health Consultants highlights resources to develop and implement policies and practices to support improved nutrition, physical activity, breastfeeding and screen time.  The tool kit includes codes for PA NAP SACC items to easily identify resources for specific quality improvement goals.  A group of statewide partners helped to revise the tool kit in 2017-18.  Also updated 9/2019.

Federal law requires that the publication called "Dietary Guidelines for Americans" must be reviewed, updated as necessary and published every 5 years. The 2020-2025 guidelines development process is underway now.  The guidelines emphasize calorie balance to achieve and sustain a healthy weight, as well as a focus on nutrient-dense foods and beverages. Policy-makers use these guidelines to develop educational materials and carry out nutrition-related programs. Use the weblink, Dietary Guidelines, to access the website of the United States Department of Agriculture for the current guidelines. Reviewed and reaffirmed 5/2018

Brochure that describes the role of a sanitarian or food safety consultant for early education and child care programs. Reviewed and reaffirmed 11/2012

This pamphlet describes how to find a child care health consultant to provide technical assistance and instruction on health and safety for staff and families. The brochure also describes how to assess the knowledge, skills, and work of health professionals who provide health and safety consultation and professional development for early childhood programs. Child care health consultation is an evidence-based practice.  The brochure can be used by early educators, health consultants and policy makers  to define and discuss the role of child care health consultants.  Reviewed and reaffirmed 10/2018

Many children who are enrolled in early education and child care programs have chronic health problems or special health needs.  In the United States, 14% of all children have such conditions. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) published Managing Chronic Health Needs in Child Care and Schools to help teachers and caregivers understand these conditions and work with health care professionals to be sure children who have them stay well. The book explains how to develop specific Care Plans for educational settings. One section offers information about types of health professionals who might be involved in a child's care. Half the book is devoted to condition-specific Quick Reference Sheets and sample forms.  To order this book, go to the AAP bookstore at Reviewed and reaffirmed 6/2018.

The fourth editon, released in 2016,  of this handy reference about how to prevent and manage infection in group care settings for children can be purchased from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the national organization of pediatricians and other pediatric health professionals.  The fourth edition has been completely reviewed and updated to reflect the latest recommendations from Caring for Our Children and the American Academy of Pediatrics, Red Book:  2015 Report of the Committee on Infectious Diseases. It includes new Quick Reference Sheets on Norovirus, MRSA, and Clostridium difficile ("C diff"). Revised 11/30/16.

The PA Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Pediatrics published the 5th edition of Model Child Care Health Policies in October 2013. Significantly revised and updated, the new edition is a practical tool for adoption and implementation of best practices for health and safety in group care settings for young children. This edition replaces the previously published version and updates of individual policies that were posted on the ECELS website. ECELS encourages early education and child care professionals to adapt the model policies as site-specific documents that fit their programs. Two formats are available: one replicates the hard copy publication. The other format, posted 12-12-2014, has form fields that allow users to insert their site-specific details directly into the PDF document.