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Healthy and Green child care siting initiative

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Protecting Pennsylvania's Children 


The purpose of the healthy and green initiative program is to ensure that new child care centers are sited in healthy environments. Pennsylvania is a state that encompasses many different industries. For this reason, there have been a large number of properties that have been contaminated by past use or by environmental hazards. Some of these properties have been remediated and restored while others have not. There are still properties that have not been identified as a possible source of contamination, and it’s some of those properties that end up as child care centers. The Healthy and Green Child Care Siting Initiative is designed to contribute to the existing efforts of local and state officials by identifying and evaluating potentially contaminated sites in the early process. This would identify potential sources of chemical contamination before new child care centers open and could prevent harmful exposures.

WHY THIS INITIATIVE IS SO IMPORTANT 
Children, especially young children, are more vulnerable than most when exposed to chemicals in the environment.  Children’s behaviors, such as putting non-food items in their mouths, make them more susceptible to environmental exposures, especially in soil and dust.  Research has shown that chemical exposures during child development may contribute to respiratory illnesses, cancer, neurodevelopmental disorders, obesity and birth defects. This initiative is important because it will help to identify any potential environmental hazards before children and staff at the child care center would become exposed.
WHAT YOU CAN DO AS A CHILD CARE CENTER OWNER OR OPERATOR
If you are a child care center owner or operator and would like to have your facility assessed for environmental hazards, go to www.surveymonkey.com/s/childcarecenters and complete the survey to the best of your ability. Once that survey is completed, the Health Assessment Program will do the following: 
   -  Cross-reference the location with a group of environmental databases which include superfund 
      sites, drycleaners, landfills, brownfield or land recycling sites, and Department of Energy or
      Defense sites.
   -  Review the survey and look for sources of contaminants that could potentially impact the air, soil or
      water on the site over time.
   -  Conduct a record review, site visit, recommend collection of samples, prepare a health consultation
      or provide guidance and information to parents and provide guidance and information to parents  
      and providers.