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The Springfield-Greene County Health Department has recognized six local child care providers that have been certified through its new “Child Safe Facility” program. KSMU’s Rebekah Clark shares details.
According to Mike Brothers, spokesman for the health department, the childcare industry across the state is booming.
“The National Association of Childcare Resource and Referral Agencies, and they did a national ranking that included benchmarks for credentialing and training in childcare teachers for things like healthcare, health, safety and basic regulations on safety standards. In that 2009 survey, Missouri ranked 46 out of 50.”
Brothers says we have a lot of families in Missouri that are working and need that assistance. The health department’s Child Safe Facility program is part of an effort to promote the health and safety of those children in child care. The voluntary program began last year, and is designed to build upon minimum licensing standards that are already in place.
“It’s not really about cracking down on anybody or anything so to speak, it’s really working with them to bring them the knowledge and research that shows that these are some of the fairly simple things you can do that are proven to work and just going through that with them, providing them the resources. Once they’ve gone through that, they can get certified for this. Again, it’s kind of an above and beyond.”
Child care businesses that meet the mark can be awarded a Child Safety Facility Certificate. The performance measures include: emergency preparedness, immunization and health promotions, indoor safety, outdoor safety and safe sleep practices. These five measures are divided into Gold, Bronze and Silver levels.
The six providers recognized by the department are: Messiah Lighthouse Child and Family Development Center and Evergreen Place, both in Springfield, which got Gold Stars. Carr’s Kids in Springfield and Little Angels Learning Academy in Battlefield, which earned Silver Stars, and Lutheran Church Child Care Center in Republic and Rise ‘N Shine Daycare and Learning Center in Springfield, which earned Bronze Stars.
For KSMU News, I’m Rebekah Clark.