Child care providers can find helpful resources and information on this site that support licensing requirements as well as improve quality of care in your facility.
There are many resources available for child care providers to ensure safe and quality care. Review the information below to become familiar with important considerations as you open and operate your child care business.
Resources for child care providers
Idaho's Choose Safe Places program makes sure that early care and education programs are in safe places, so that children aren't exposed to dangerous chemicals during their care.
Child care providers should proactively consider possible sources of environmental exposure prior to committing to a location for a child care business. Early care and education facilities may be located in places where children and staff are exposed to harmful chemicals even if facilities meet current licensing regulations. New child care providers may be unaware if a proposed site is in a contaminated industrial building that was never cleaned up, or next door to a dry cleaner using harmful chemicals. This can put staff and children, who are more sensitive because they’re still growing, at risk of health problems.
The Choose Safe Places program provides child care providers with a voluntary property checklist that helps to identify and assess potential environmental risks when considering a site for a business.
Learn more about the Choose Safe Places program by reading the partner factsheet.
For more information or questions about Choose Safe Places, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Healthy Kids, Healthy Future continues the work of Let’s Move! Child Care (LMCC), part of Former First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative to prevent childhood obesity. Healthy Kids, Healthy Future encourages and supports child care and early education providers to make positive changes in their programs to work toward a healthier future for children. Healthy Kids, Healthy Future is voluntary and for all types of programs: family child care homes, centers, Early Head Start and Head Start programs, preschool, tribal programs, and faith-based programs.
Healthy Kids, Healthy Future offers childhood obesity prevention resources and tools to assist child care and preschool providers. Best practices are outlined in five healthy goal areas: nurturing healthy eaters, providing healthy beverages, increasing physical activity, limiting screen time, and supporting breastfeeding.
Find more information at https://healthykidshealthyfuture.org/
Juvenile background checks:
Daycare licensing requires that every individual 13 years of age or older must complete a DHW criminal history check and a check of all juvenile justice records in all the counties the individual has lived in from the age of 13 through 17. The parent/guardian is responsible for initiating these checks and for any costs associated with them. This document was developed by the department in an effort to streamline the juvenile justice records request process.
Criminal history background checks:
Child care licensing standards require each owner, operator, and applicant seeking licensure for a daycare center, group daycare facility, or a family daycare home to submit evidence that is satisfactory to the department that owners, operators, staff, and all other individuals 13 years of age or older who have unsupervised direct contact with children or are regularly on the premises have successfully completed and received a clearance for a department criminal history and background check under the provisions of Sections 39-1105 and 39-1113, Idaho Code.
For more information on criminal history checks visit: https://healthandwelfare.idaho.gov/Portals/0/Children/ChildCare/Daycare…
The Criminal History Unit completes background checks for child care providers: https://chu.dhw.idaho.gov/
Facilities should develop a written policy describing the practices to be used to promote safe sleep for infants. The policy should explain that these practices aim to reduce the risk of sudden, unexpected infant deaths (SUIDs), including sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), suffocation, and other deaths that may occur when an infant is in a crib or asleep.
Safe sleep practices are required for the Idaho Child Care Program licensing and recommended for other state and city licensure. Providers must place infants from newborn to 12 months in a safe sleep environment. Safe sleep practices mean that a baby is alone, on his ir her back, and in a Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) certified crib. Important information for providers to include in their sleep policies include the following:
- Back to sleep for every sleep. To reduce the risks of SIDS, infants should be placed for sleep completely on the back for every sleep by every caregiver until 1 year of age. Side sleeping is not safe and not advised.
- Consider offering a pacifier at nap time and bedtime. The pacifier should not have cords or attaching mechanisms that might be a strangulation risk.
- Place babies on a firm sleep surface, covered by a fitted sheet that meets current safety standards. For more information about crib safety standards, visit the Consumer Product Safety Commission's website.
- Keep soft objects, loose bedding, bumper pads, and any objects that could increase the risk of suffocation or strangulation from the baby’s sleep area.
- Loose bedding, such as sheets and blankets, should not be used. Sleep clothing, such as sleepers, sleep sacks, and wearable blankets, are good alternatives to blankets.
- Sleep only one baby per crib.
- Keep the room at a temperature that is comfortable for a lightly clothed adult.
- Do not use wedges or infant positioners, since there’s no evidence that they reduce the risk of SIDS, and they may increase the risk of suffocation.
- Teach all staff, substitutes, and volunteers about safe sleep policies and practices and be sure to review these practices often.
- When a new baby is coming into the program, be sure to talk to the parents about your safe sleep policy and how their baby sleeps. If the baby sleeps in a way other than on her back, the child’s parents or guardians need a note from the child’s physician that explains how she should sleep, the medical reason for this position and a time frame for this position. This note should be kept on file and all staff, including substitutes and volunteers, should be informed of this special situation. It is also a good idea to put a sign on the baby’s crib.
|A Child Care Provider's Guide to Safe Sleep||Idaho Child Care Program Infant Safe Sleep Practices||Sample Safe Sleep Policy|
Download more Information and/or order free educational materials
|Go to Health Tools|
Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a member of the herpesvirus family. CMV infects people of all ages and is usually asymptomatic. Some people who acquire CMV infection may experience symptoms similar to those of mononucleosis. After initial infection, the virus establishes lifelong latency and may be intermittently reactivated in those with weakened immune systems. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over half of adults are infected with CMV by age 40.
Pregnant women can pass CMV to fetuses at any time during pregnancy, which can result in congenital CMV infection. This can happen following a primary infection, reinfection with a different CMV strain, or reactivation of a previous infection. Primary infections occur in 1 to 4 percent of seronegative pregnant women and lead to fetal infection in 40 to 50 percent of these pregnancies. Maternal CMV reactivation or reinfection with a different CMV strain leads to fetal infection in about 1 percent of seropositive pregnant women.
CMV is the most common infectious cause of birth defects in the United States. According to the CDC, about 1 in 200 infants are born in the United States with congenital CMV infection each year. This rate equates to about 115 babies born in Idaho with congenital CMV each year. Most infants with congenital CMV are asymptomatic and will not have long-term health problems. However, about 20 percent of infected infants will experience long-term health problems.
|CDC- CMV and Congenital CMV Infection||National CMV Foundation||Idaho CMV Advocacy Project|
|Idaho Sound Beginnings
(early hearing detection & intervention)
|Idaho CMV Legislation- Senate Bill No. 1060|
Download more information and/or order free educational materials
|Go to Health Tools|
Child care centers, emergency shelters, at-risk afterschool care centers, outside-school-hours care centers, Head start programs and adult day care centers may participate in the child and adult care food program either independently or under the sponsorship of a public or private nonprofit organization. Family daycare homes must participate under a sponsoring organization. The centers or homes receive reimbursement for meals and/or snacks that meet the meal pattern and are served to participants. Depending on the type of center or home, the reimbursement rates are based on the income level of the participants, provider, or local geographic area.
Apply for CACFP
Visit Idaho CACFP’s website to receive information on CACFP and apply for the program.