A quality health training program for providers is critical to ensure a healthy environment for children in child care. Providers recognize the importance of quality training. Finding a trainer who understands the needs of child care and what the components to include in a health training can be a challenge.
Questions to ask when talking with a potential trainer
The class should cover, at a minimum, the following subjects:
- How germs/illnesses are spread
- Signs and symptoms of illness
- How to conduct a health observation/check
- When to exclude/include children due to illness
- The importance of health policies and procedures
- Reducing the transmission of disease (handwashing, diapering, cleaning/sanitizing/disinfecting of surfaces and toys)
- Common childhood illnesses
- Standard precautions
Health training as part of child care licensing requirements
The Standards for Licensed Child Day Centers for Virginia require health observation training for at least one caregiver on duty at least every three years (22 VAC 40-185-240). VDH has developed a comprehensive daily health observation training that covers all required elements for this regulation. It is designed for Child Care Health Consultants and other appropriate health professionals to use in a classroom setting. Questions regarding the curriculum may be directed to our office at (804) 865-7685.
Current training requirements for Family Day Home providers are found in standard 22VAC40-111-210 of the Standards for Licensed Family Day Homes for Virginia. A total of 16 clock hours of training is required annually in addition to satisfactory completion of first aid training and CPR training. These areas may include Physical, intellectual, social, and emotional child development; Behavior management and discipline techniques; Health and safety in the family day home environment; Art and music activities for children; Child nutrition; Recognition and prevention of child abuse and neglect; Emergency preparedness as required by 22 VAC 40-111-800 C; or Recognition and prevention of the spread of communicable diseases.
Health training is important because a comprehensive and continuing health training program for child care staff protects against spread of infection, community disease outbreaks, and absenteeism from work for both parents and staff.