What is a Child Care Health Consultant?
A child care health consultant (CCHC) is a health care professional who…
• Has interest in & experience with children
• Has knowledge of resources & regulations
• Is comfortable linking health resources with facilities that provide primarily education & social services
Health and safety issues in out-of-home child care settings can range from simple to complex. Early education and child care professionals can handle certain health matters on their own, such as responding to a minor injury or developing materials and procedures based on each state’s child care regulations (http://nrckids.org/STATES/states.htm). However, when faced with more complex health concerns, such as determining a “safe sleep” policy, developing care plans for children with chronic medical conditions, or responding to an infectious disease outbreak, child care professionals could benefit greatly from working with a health care professional.
Utilizing child care health consultants can help achieve the goal of providing safe, healthy, and developmentally appropriate environments for our nation’s young children.
How many Child Care Health Consultants reside in Texas?
Currently, there are only 100 Child Care Health Consultants residing in the state of Texas! Take advantage of Marilyn Thompson’s education and experience to assist you make your child care center the best it can be!
Who can be a Child Care Health Consultant?
Nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, physicians, health educators, nutritionists, dental hygienists, sanitarians, & medical social workers can be child care health consultants. In addition to these credentials, Child Care Health Consultants must complete a course through Texas Department Of Health and Human Services and demonstrate competency in the following areas:
• Knowledge & experience in health & safety practices in child care
• Specialized training in nutrition and early childhood environments
• National health & safety standards
• State Child Care Licensing requirements
• Child care day-to-day operations
• Disease reporting requirements
• Reporting requirements for child abuse & neglect
• Community and mental health resources
How can a Child Care Health Consultant Assist Child Care directors and Workers?
A CCHC can help improve the health and safety of children in your care by:
• Consulting and teaching child care providers about health and safety issues
• Consulting and teaching parents/guardians about health and safety issues
• Assessing the needs of child care providers and parents/guardians for health and safety training
• Meeting on-site with child care providers about health and safety
• Consulting and revising menu selections to meet Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP)
• Providing telephone advice to child care providers about health and safety
• Providing referrals to community services
• Developing or updating policies and procedures for child care facilities
• Reviewing health records of children and child care providers
• Helping to manage the care of children with special health care needs
• Consulting with a child’s health professional about medication
• Assisting with developmental screening
• Interpreting standards or regulations and providing technical advice, separate and apart from the enforcement role of a regulation inspector
American Academy Of Pediatrics, American Public Health Association, National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care and Early Education. 2011. Caring for our children: National health and safety performance standards; Guidelines for early care and education programs. 3rd edition. Elk Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics; Washington, DC: American Public Health Association. Also available at http://nrckids.org.