The National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care and Early Education at the CU College of Nursing has released Stepping Stones to Caring for Our Children, 3rd Edition (SS3). SS3 presents 138 essential standards intended to reduce morbidity in child care and early education settings. These standards, selected through a rigorous process, are a subset of 686 standards in the parent document, Caring for Our Children: National Health and Performance Standards; Guidelines for Early Care and Education Programs, Third Edition (CFOC3). These resources were produced by the NRC in partnership with the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American Public Health Association (APHA), and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MMCHB).
Health care professionals can use SS3 to:
- assist families in assuring healthy and safe out-of-home care for their children;
- provide consultation for caregivers/teachers by using the standards as guidance on what makes a healthy, safe and age-appropriate environment; and
- develop guidance materials to share with both caregivers/teachers and parents/guardians.
A sampling of standards included in SS3 include:
- Safe sleep
- Handling and feeding of human milk
- Introduction of solid foods to infants
- Monitoring children's development
- Unimmunized children
- Infectious disease outbreak control
- Testing for lead
- Availability of drinking water
- Child passenger safety
SS3 is accessible through the NRC's website; the interactive parent document (CFOC3) is available online, too.
The National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care and Early Education is located at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, College of Nursing, Aurora, Colo.