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Caring For Our Children: National Health and Safety Performance Standards: Guidelines for Out-of-Home Child Care Programs.

This public health manual should be on the desk of every child care administrator and classroom teacher. It offers specific, thorough guidelines for conducting out-of-home care programs for young children while recognizing levels of child development and facility variations. The rationale for each standard is provided to foster understanding and program application.

The preface provides operational definitions of health and child development, reviews the development of specific guidelines and details the guiding principles that shape this comprehensive text. The 33 guiding principles should be embraced by every early childhood program. They also provide excellent themes for staff development.

Chapter One covers best practices for licensure, teacher qualifications, professional training, staff health and performance evaluation. Given the serious nature of public health in child care settings, this chapter should be required reading for administrators and anyone directly working with young children.

Chapter Two discusses program activities that support healthy development. These activities include appropriate classroom practices, field trips, discipline and parent involvement.

Chapter Three outlines health promotion and practices focusing on toilet use and diapering, hygiene, child neglect, emergency procedures, water safety, animals, smoking and child illnesses. Guidelines for special facilities and practices for the care of ill children are offered as well.

Chapter Four suggests appropriate nutrition and food service in early childhood programs that recognize specific child development patterns. Chapter Five presents clear specifications for equipment, facilities and transportation. The potential hazards of these features necessitate great care and emphasis on safety.

Chapter Six addresses the current concerns regarding infectious diseases in child care settings. Information about healthful practices is outlined in succinct terms. These guidelines are objective and practical for all diseases, including those that are as common as a cold or as controversial as HIV infection.

Chapter Seven provides important information on inclusion of children with special needs into formal care programs. Guidelines for developing service plans to benefit special needs children and their parents are described. Chapters Eight and Nine report on effective administrative strategies and licensing procedures that support healthful care environments for young children.

The corresponding appendices and references for each chapter make this manual a significant desk resource for administrators, while providing excellent day-to-day guidelines for classroom teachers. Reviewed by Michael J. Bell, Early Childhood Education, Arizona Department of Education, Phoenix.
COPYRIGHT 1993 Association for Childhood Education International
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1993, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
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Author:Bell, Michael J.
Publication:Childhood Education
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Sep 22, 1993
Words:378
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