Child Care Providers

Young children are more vulnerable to environmental exposures than older children and adults. We aim to use our research to generate useful tools and tips to enable child care providers to protect themselves and their child charges.

Through the CERCH Environmental Quality in California Child Care Research Program, it is our goal to learn about environmental health in child care settings, and to share findings and prevention strategies with child care providers.

Some facts about child care in the U.S.A.:

  • Many infants and young children spend as much as 10 hours per day, 5 days per week, in child care.
  • Nationally, 13 million children, or 65% of all U.S. children, spend some portion of the day in child care.
  • In California, approximately 1.1 million children five years or younger attend child care.
  • Approximately 146,000 staff work 40 hours or more per week in California child care facilities.
  • More about why we study child care centers.

Presentations and Trainings:

  • CERCH offers workshops for child care providers centering on both current research in environmental quality in child care, and alternative pest management practices.
  • CERCH has presented these workshops to child care centers throughout California, at state and national conferences for child care providers, and at national and international scientific conferences.
  • Click here to go to the Child Care Workshops page.
  • For a complete listing of CERCH presentations and trainings on all topics, click here.
  • Request a presentation by filling out our presentation request web form or calling the CHAMACOS Field Office in Salinas, CA (831.759.6548).

Integrated Pest Management Toolkit

  • This online toolkit presents practical information about using integrated pest management (IPM) practices instead of harmful pesticides to prevent and manage pest problems in early care and education programs.
  • Download and use of the toolkit is free – click here to get the PDF.
  • Go to  California Child Care Health Program at UC San Francisco’s IPM Toolkit webpage.
  • Go to CERCH Child Care Studies’ IPM Toolkit webpage.

Green Cleaning Toolkit

  • The Green Cleaning, Sanitizing and Disinfecting Toolkit presents practical information on how to keep early care and education (ECE) environments clean and safe using practices and products that are less hazardous and that protect young children and staff from infectious diseases.

Findings from CERCH child care studies:

  • Ninety percent of California child care centers report pest problems.
  • Just over half of centers surveyed report using pesticides.
  • Just under half of centers surveyed report use of sprays and foggers that have a higher chance of exposing children and staff.
  • Many licensed child care providers are not aware of the California Healthy Schools Act, which encourages alternatives to pesticide use.
  • View the complete report from the Environmental Quality in California Child Care Research Program:

    • Report: Pest Management and Pesticide Use in California Child Care Centers
  • View the Department of Pesticide Research (DPR) Media Advisory

Children’s Resources:

  • Visit the Children and Teens page to find age-appropriate, fun and educational resources for children and youth. The COTC is dedicated to teaching children and youth how to recognize and prevent environmental exposure. Young people make great advocates for environmental exposure prevention for themselves, their families and their friends.
  • We are pleased to help children build a foundation of knowledge about children’s environmental health in fun and engaging ways, such as:
    • Interactive displays at community events:
      • The CHAMACOS booth offers face painting and prizes for playing the colorful, fun and age-appropriate Prize Wheel children’s environmental health trivia game
    • Youth Community Council (click here to learn more)
    • Puppet Show for Children
      • The puppet show is a multimedia, interactive presentation for children aged 6-8 years about environmental health and exposure prevention in daily-life situations.
      • Children interact with the puppets and learn to identify environmental hazards and about basic exposure prevention.
      • 3 Main Topics covered: 1) pesticide exposures, 2) possible health effects of exposure, and 3) practical prevention strategies like washing hands, and strategies specific to having farmworker parents, when applicable.


California Childcare Health Program

Back to CERCH Outreach



Funded By: Contact the CERCH Outreach Coordinator: Contact the CERCH Child Care Study Director:
  • The California Air Resources Board (CARB)
  • The California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR)
  • The National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Daniel Madrigal, MPH
Outreach Coordinator, CERCH
[email protected]
Asa Bradman, PhD
Director, Environmental Quality in California Childcare Research and Outreach Program
[email protected]

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