Making early childhood centres safer and healthier

Community and Public Health is involved with the promotion of health and safety to early childhood centres. Early childhood services play an essential role in the education, health and life of pre-school children. They may also present health risks to children, staff and other people who spend time at the centre. There is potential for disease transmission because:

  • Boy playing with trucks.Children under five years (because of their developmental stage) are likely to have poorly developed personal hygiene habits;
  • There is a high level of physical contact between children;
  • Nappy changing is considered to be a high risk activity;
  • Food may be shared; and
  • Children tend to place items in their mouths and may contaminate those items therefore spreading the risk of contamination.

Disease transmission within early childhood centres may have implications for the wider community, particularly parents, caregivers and friends of children attending. By maintaining effective public health oversights through assessment, enforcement and health promotion, health and safety risks in early childhood centre environments will be reduced.

Community and Public Health’s Early Childhood Centre Information Pack (revised May 2016) is specifically developed for those planning to establish a new centre. It covers health requirements relating to design, physical environments and health policies that will be necessary to consider at the planning stages for a new centre. The pack provides the necessary information to ensure that a centre will meet the health component of the licensing requirement.

Here is an example of a Cleaning Schedule for Early Childhood Centres, which is included in the Information Pack.

Community and Public Health staff provide the following services for Early Childhood Centres:

  • Health and safety assessments and reporting on new or existing centres as requested under the Early Childhood Centres Regulations by the Ministry of Education. The centre environment is assessed from a public health perspective, looking at compliance with legislative requirements and assessment of health risk. Please note there is a charge for this assessment.
  • General health and safety advice to Early Childhood Centres, for example when new centres are proposed or renovations to existing centres take place.
  • Assistance with Resource Management Applications for Early Childhood Centres.
  • Specialist health advice in a number of areas including:
  • Development of specific resources for under-5s.

Get information on nutrition and physical activity for preschoolers (Healthy Nibbles for Tots).

Wellbeing and Vitality in Education (WAVE) is involved with early childhood settings in South Canterbury.


Documents

Downloads

Download or order resources from the Community Health Information Centre.

Links

For disease enquiries, contact the Communicable Disease staff at your local office:

CANTERBURY
Ph: +64 3 364 1777
Fax: +64 3 379 6484

SOUTH CANTERBURY
Ph: +64 3 687 2600
Fax: +64 3 688 6091

WEST COAST
Ph: +64 3 768 1160
Fax: +64 3 768 1169


For environmental or other enquiries, contact your local office:

CANTERBURY
Angela Sheat
Ph: +64 3 378 6739
Fax: +64 3 379 6125

SOUTH CANTERBURY (WAVE)
Ph: +64 3 687 2600
Fax: +64 3 688 6091

WEST COAST
Ph: +64 3 768 1160
Fax: +64 3 768 1169

Page last updated: 19/06/2017

Copyright © 2017, Community & Public Health, Site by Wired