Best Starts for Kids: Ensuring Health and Safety for All Children in Child Care

A version of this blog was originally posted on the Best Starts for Kids Blog.

Child care centers are busy places. Caring for children of all ages includes many schedules, curriculum, food preparation, naps, comforting tears, and not least of all, working hard to provide a safe and healthy child care environment. But did you know that child care staff often have a nurse to call upon to help coach them on how to promote healthy practices?

One such nurse is Ellen Flamiatos, a nurse with Public Health- Seattle & King County and the Child Care Health Consultation Program.

Ellen Flamiatos, a public health child care health consultation nurse

What is Child Care Health Consultation?

Ellen invited Best Starts to accompany her on a child care visit to share what she does to increase safety and health in early learning environments and help reduce inequities. Ellen has a number of child care centers with whom she has relationships and visits the infant care rooms on a monthly basis.

Upon entering the infant room, the caregivers warmly welcomed Ellen, making it very evident that there is a ongoing, trusting relationship. Ellen visited with the caregivers and answered a number of child development questions that they had for her. She also shared a resource on child development that she brought for the teachers.

Discussing a child development resource with a caregiver

Ellen proceeded to survey the room in order to provide health recommendations.


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In addition to site visits, child care health consultants are an ongoing resource for child care providers. Consultants are often called for advice when there is a communicable disease outbreak at a center. They provide tips for controlling the breakout and have information to give to parents. A child care consultation team can include nutritionists and Licensed Mental Health Consultants among other roles, able to provide healthy nutrition guidance and developmental and behavioral help. Child care consultation teams work alongside child care providers to help refer families to appropriate needed services and also offer education and training for child care staff.

Two Best Starts for Kids RFPs are currently open for child care health services:

  1. Child Care Health Consultation Service Delivery – Due February 28
  2. Child Care Health Consultation Systems Development – Due March 14

Read more on the Best Starts for Kids Blog.

Originally posted on Public Health Insider on February 6, 2018.