National Standards Promote Strengthening Emergency Preparedness in Child Care
Steven Fisher: 203.341.8438
WASHINGTON, D.C. (Feb. 23, 2011) — The National Association of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies (NACCRRA) and Save the Children’s U.S. Programs released today National Standards for emergency planning in child care. Protecting Children in Child Care During Emergencies makes specific recommendations and establishes guidelines for incorporating disaster preparedness in state child care regulations.
There are more than 300,000 licensed child care facilities in the United States. While most states’ regulations for child care centers and family child care homes address fire drills, many state regulations fall short in protecting children during tornados, earthquakes, industrial accidents and other disasters that may require evacuation, lockdowns, sheltering in place or reunification of children with their parents following a disaster.
"Our nation's children spend, on average, 36 hours per week in some form of child care and most of the child care workforce has not received basic disaster preparedness training," said Linda K. Smith, Executive Director of NACCRRA. “A comprehensive and viable emergency plan must be a core component of state child care regulations to ensure that all children are protected in times of crisis."
The recommended National Standards address issues uncovered in a 2010 Save the Children study which found that 36 states are missing key child care regulations that would better protect children in child care before, during and after disasters. As a result, NACCRRA and Save the Children developed detailed child care emergency preparedness standards to implement Save the Children's policy recommendations and serve as a model for states.
"The most vulnerable Americans in the most vulnerable settings are made more vulnerable because of government inaction," said Mark Shriver, Senior Vice President for Save the Children’s U.S. Programs. "We are thrilled to partner with NACCRRA to help fight to make sure that every state and every child in America is protected when disaster strikes."
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NACCRRA, the National Association of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies, is our nation’s leading voice for child care. We work with more than 600 state and local Child Care Resource and Referral agencies nationwide. These agencies help ensure that families in 99 percent of all populated ZIP codes in the United States have access to quality, affordable child care. To achieve our mission, we lead projects that increase the quality and availability of child care professionals, undertake research, and advocate child care policies that positively impact the lives of children and families. To learn more about NACCRRA and how you can join us in ensuring access to quality child care for all families, visit us at www.naccrra.org.
Save the Children is the leading, independent organization that creates lasting change for children in need in the United States and 120 countries around the world. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.