Caring for Our Children (CFOC)

Chapter 10: Licensing and Community Action

10.6 Caregiver/Teacher Support

10.6.1 Caregiver/Teacher Training Regulatory Agency Provision of Caregiver/Teacher and Consumer Training and Support Services

The licensing agency should promote participation in a variety of caregiver/teacher and consumer training and support services as an integral component of its mission to reduce risks to children in out-of-home child care. Such training should emphasize the importance of conducting regular safety checks and providing direct supervision of children at all times. Training plans should include mechanisms for training of prospective child care staff prior to their assuming responsibility for the care of children and for ongoing/continuing education. The higher education institutions providing early education degree programs should be coordinated with training provided at the community level to encourage continuing education and availability of appropriate content in the coursework provide by these institutions of higher education.

Persons wanting to enter the child care field should be able to learn from the regulatory agency about training opportunities offered by public and private agencies. Discussions of these trainings can emphasize critical child care health and safety messages. Some training can be provided online to reinforce classroom education.

Training programs should address the following:

  1. Child growth and development including social-emotional, cognitive, language, and physical development;
  2. Child care programming and activities;
  3. Discipline and behavior management;
  4. Mandated child abuse and neglect reporting;
  5. Health and safety practices including injury prevention, basic first aid and CPR, reporting, preventing and controlling infectious diseases, children’s environmental health and health promotion, and reducing the risk of SIDS and use of safe sleep practices;
  6. Cultural diversity;
  7. Nutrition and eating habits including the importance of breastfeeding and the prevention of obesity and related chronic diseases;
  8. Parent/guardian education;
  9. Design, use and safe cleaning of physical space;
  10. Care and education of children with special health care needs;
  11. Oral health care;
  12. Reporting requirements for infectious disease outbreaks;
  13. Caregiver/teacher health;
  14. Age-appropriate physical activity.
Training enhances staff competence (1,2,4). In addition to low child:staff ratio, group size, age mix of children, and continuity of caregiver/teacher, the training/education of caregivers/teachers is a specific indicator of child care quality (1,2). Most states require limited training for child care staff depending on their functions and responsibilities. Some states do not require completion of a high school degree or GED for various levels of teacher positions (5). Staff members who are better trained are more able to prevent, recognize, and correct health and safety problems. Decisions about management of illness are facilitated by the caregiver’s/teacher’s increased skill in assessing a child’s behavior that suggests illness (2,3). Training should promote increased opportunity in the field and openings to advance through further degree-credentialed education.
RELATED STANDARDS Initial Orientation of All Staff Orientation for Care of Children with Special Health Care Needs Orientation Topics Development of Child Care Provider Organizations and Networks
  1. U.S. General Accounting Office (USGAO); Health, Education, and Human Services Division. 1994. Child care: Promoting quality in family child care. Report to the chairman, subcommittee on regulation, business opportunities, and technology, committee on small business, House of Representatives. Publication no. GAO-HEHS-95-36. Washington, DC: USGAO.
  2. Galinsky, E., C. Howes, S. Kontos, M. Shinn. 1994. The study of children in family child care and relative care. New York: Families and Work Institute.
  3. Aronson, S. S., L. S. Aiken. 1980. Compliance of child care programs with health and safety standards: Impact of program evaluation and advocate training. Pediatrics 65:318-25.
  4. Kendrick, A. S. 1994. Training to ensure healthy child day-care programs. Pediatrics 94:1108-10.
  5. Moon, R. Y., R. P. Oden. 2003. Back to sleep: Can we influence child care providers? Pediatrics 112:878-82.
  6. National Child Care Information and Technical Assistance Center, National Association for Regulatory Administration (NARA). 2010. The 2008 child care licensing study: Final report. Lexington, KY: NARA. Care Licensing Study_Full_Report.pdf. Provision of Training to Facilities by Health Agencies

Public health departments, other state departments charged with professional development for out of home child care providers, and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) agencies should provide training, written information, consultation in at least the following subject areas or referral to other community resources (e.g., child care health consultants, licensing personnel, health care professionals, including school nurses) who can provide such training in:

  1. Immunization;
  2. Reporting, preventing, and managing of infectious diseases;
  3. Techniques for the prevention and control of infectious diseases;
  4. Exclusion and inclusion guidelines and care of children who are acutely ill;
  5. General hygiene and sanitation;
  6. Food service, nutrition, and infant and child-feeding;
  7. Care of children with special health care needs (chronic illnesses, physical and developmental disabilities, and behavior problems);
  8. Prevention and management of injury;
  9. Managing emergencies;
  10. Oral health;
  11. Environmental health;
  12. Health promotion, including routine health supervision and the importance of a medical or health home for children and adults;
  13. Health insurance, including Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP);
  14. Strategies for preparing for and responding to infectious disease outbreaks, such as a pandemic influenza;
  15. Age-appropriate physical activity;
  16. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and Shaken Baby Syndrome/Abusive Head Trauma.
Training of child care staff has improved the quality of their health related behaviors and practices. Training should be available to all parties involved, including caregivers/teachers, public health workers, health care providers, parents/guardians, and children. Good quality training, with imaginative and accessible methods of presentation supported by well-designed materials, will facilitate learning.
RELATED STANDARDS Continuing Education for Directors and Caregivers/Teachers in Centers and Large Family Child Care Homes Continuing Education for Small Family Child Care Home Caregivers/Teachers Training of Staff Who Handle Food Child Abuse and Neglect Education Training on Occupational Risk Related to Handling Body Fluids Education of Center Staff Training Time and Professional Development Leave Payment for Continuing Education State and Local Health Department Role