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Community Environmental Health

IDEM Environmental Health > 5 Star Recognition for Child Care > What to Ask when Selecting a Child Care Provider What to Ask when Selecting a Child Care Provider

Has your child care provider taken steps to make their facility safer and healthier? Ask these questions to find out:

  • Was the building constructed prior to 1978 and if so, has a lead inspection or risk assessment been conducted? What were the results? Is peeling or damaged paint present at the facility? How does the facility stay up to date on recalled toys and what does it do with the recalled toys?
  • What chemicals are used at the facility? Where are the children when tables are cleaned, floors are mopped, and carpets are swept?
  • How are pests handled? Does the facility use integrated pest management and only apply pesticides when physical and mechanical barriers fail? Does the facility’s contractor apply only the least toxic pesticide? Does the facility avoid unnecessarily monthly spraying? Are baits used instead of sprays? What pests are present at the facility? Does the facility prohibit staff from using pesticides? Where are children when pesticides are applied? Are playgrounds fertilized or sprayed with weed killers?
  • Does your child have asthma, and if so, have you provided your child care provider with an asthma action plan from the doctor? Does the provider have clear, written instruction about what triggers your child’s asthma and what to do should an attack occur? If your child is allergic to pets with fur or feathers, will they be exposed to them at the facility?
  • Are leaks or mold present anywhere in the facility?
  • Does each teacher receive training at least annually about chemicals exposure, about asthma attacks, about emergency action plans, and about universal precautions?
  • Is the overall appearance of the facility clean and well maintained? Are any strong odors present and if so, what are they from and why do they linger?