Caring for Our Children (CFOC)

Chapter 5: Facilities, Supplies, Equipment, and Environmental Health

5.3 General Furnishings and Equipment

5.3.1 General Furnishings and Equipment Requirements Availability and Use of a Telephone or Wireless Communication Device

Content in the STANDARD was modified on 05/21/2019.

A wireless phone should be available to all caregivers/teachers in the event of an emergency or emergency evacuation away from the primary early care and education building. Early care and education programs should have access to at least one landline or one wireless communication device (cellular phone) for general and emergency use

  1. On the premises of the child care facility
  2. In each vehicle used when transporting children
  3. On field trips

While operating a motor vehicle to transport children, drivers should not use wireless communication devices when the vehicle is in motion. Drivers should never send and receive text messages, use social media, or use other mobile applications (“apps”)—with the exception of the use of a navigational or global positioning system device—while transporting children.


Using cellular devices while driving can divert attention away from the roadway, increasing the risk of motor vehicle crashes.1 Wired or landline communication devices continue to be important in early care and education programs. Using a wireless device to call 911 can make locating the caller more complicated than when using a wired or landline device to call 911, as landline numbers are associated with a fixed address.2

Center, Early Head Start, Head Start, Large Family Child Care Home, Small Family Child Care Home
RELATED STANDARDS Medical Emergency Procedures First Aid and Emergency Supplies Competence and Training of Transportation Staff Distractions While Driving Disaster Planning, Training, and Communication
  1. McDonald CC, Kennedy E, Fleisher L, Zonfrillo MR. Factors associated with cell phone use while driving: a survey of parents and caregivers of children ages 4-10 years. J Pediatr. 2018;201:208–214

  2. US Federal Communications Commission. Emergency communications. Updated March 28, 2018. Accessed December 20, 2018


Content in the STANDARD was modified on 05/21/2019.