Environmental Health in Early Care and Education Project


Many young children spend the majority of their waking hours in child care facilities. The health impacts of environmental health exposures are especially important for this age group. For these reasons, the UCSF PEHSU has started a new program, the Promoting Environmental Health in Early Care and Education Project. This project will extend the work of the PEHSU’s Program Coordinator, Vickie Leonard, in greening child care environments. This work is based on two Toolkits developed with funding from the California Department of Pesticide Regulation: Integrated Pest Management: A Toolkit for Early Care and Education, and Green Cleaning, Sanitizing, and Disinfecting: A Toolkit for Early Care and Education. New work on PCBs in schools and child care centers is in the planning stages.

What is Integrated Pest Management (IPM)?

Take a holistic view of your building by using IPM strategies to control pests.

  • Integrated Pest Management, or IPM, is a strategy to prevent and treat pest problems using a combination of prevention, monitoring, record keeping and control methods such as eliminating food sources and sealing cracks and crevices in buildings where pests can enter.
  • In IPM, chemical pest controls that pose the least possible hazard to human health and the environment are used only after careful monitoring and when non-chemical methods have failed.

Who is the IPM Toolkit for?

  • early care and education staff and directors,
  • family child care providers,
  • building maintenance personnel,
  • early care and education health and safety educators,
  • child care health consultants,
  • child care health advocates,
  • child care licensing analysts,
  • pest management professionals,
  • parents, and
  • others interested in the health and safety of children in child care.

Learning Objectives:
After using the IPM Toolkit, you will be able to:

  • identify the requirements for child care centers as specified in California’s Healthy Schools Act.
  • define a pest, a pesticide and integrated pest management.
  • explain why children are vulnerable to the health risks of pesticides.
  • describe the health effects for children and staff exposed to pesticides and common pests.
  • develop and implement IPM policies and practices in your program.
  • identify simple and inexpensive IPM methods to prevent or manage common pests.
  • inspect your child care facility for the presence of pests or conditions that attract pests using the IPM Checklist.
  • share IPM information and resources with staff and parents.
the IPM Toolkit Curriculum


The IPM Full Curriculum Booklet contains general information about IPM and the Healthy schools act, plus what you need to know about pests and pesticides, and how to implement IPM. It comes with appendices with sample policies, forms and letters. Complimentary materials are also available.

Download: Click the links below to download the Complete Toolkit in English or Spanish. (All are pdf files unless otherwise stated)

Download individual chapters of the IPM curriculum booklet:

Complimentary Materials for the IPM Toolkit:

Download Complimentary Materials:

En Español:

the Green Cleaning Toolkit


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The Green Cleaning, Sanitizing and Disinfecting Toolkit presents practical information on how to keep early care and education (ECE) environments clean and safe using practices and products that are less hazardous and that protect young children and staff from infectious diseases. Click here to to purchase hard copies of the Green Cleaning Toolkit from Informed Green Solutions.

Click on the images or titles below to download handouts from the Green Cleaning Toolkit.

Green Cleaning Tooklkit References (pdf)

Other Resources on Environmental Health for Early Care and Education
Children's Environmental Health Network
Eco-Healthy Child Care
Getting Ready for Baby
Green Care for Children
Pesticide and Toxic Substance Exposure Awareness Project, IPM in Child Care Centers
San Francisco Asthma Task Force (Bleach Exposure in Child Care Settings: Strategies for Elimination or Reduction Report)
U.S. EPA Healthy Child Care
PVC-Free Schools Campaign
Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families
Environmental Exposures in the Context of Child Care:

http://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/121-a160
http://cerch.org/research-programs/child-care/chemicals-in-childrens-markers

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