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woman caring for a baby

JoCo childcare providers becoming more "Childcare Prepared"

Childcare providers in Johnson County and the families they serve can benefit from a new training and recognition program. “Childcare Prepared” encourages facilities to strengthen emergency plans, provide training for staff and participate in emergency drills and exercises. The Johnson County Department of Health and Environment (JCDHE) has partnered with Childcare Aware of America (CCAoA) on this program.

Facilities that demonstrate proficiency in the areas of planning, training and exercise will be awarded the designation of being “Childcare Prepared”. They will receive a certificate/plaque, and will be featured in articles or on social media to share their achievements and market the program. Facilities will also be able to share this status with parents as part of their enrollment and retention efforts.

JCDHE partnered with CCAoA on this initiative to advance the preparedness capabilities of child care providers in Johnson County. Currently there are six sites enrolled: three child care centers and three home-based facilities. They’re all at various stages in the program but working towards their designation.

“When we created this program, we wanted to rethink how we engage with our community partners. There is so much preparedness information available to child care facilities, but there isn’t a lot in the way of direction or guidance,” said Steve Maheux, JCDHE Public Health Emergency Program manager. “Building a framework that would help these sites develop an understanding of what it means to be prepared and come up with a plan to move their facility forward was the goal. By focusing efforts on building capabilities and training staff, preparedness becomes more than just a plan on a shelf.”

For more on child care in Johnson County, visit http://www.jocogov.org/health/child-care.