The “Green” Day Care

by admin on February 11, 2009

In the recent years, many child care centers had started their attempts at being “green” as possible. Some owners and provider have long started making trips to recycling centers with their meticulously divided waste. This feeble attempts at preserving the environment is the least they can do to help and serve as role models to the kids in their center.

Running a day care center is really a great opportunity to try educating the next generation not only in academics but also regarding environmental awareness. In a day care center, ecology lessons can be included in the curriculum as well as provide a stringent recycling practice throughout the day care center. The kids can both observe and actively join in the daily routines. The kids will also learn what different trash bins are for – paper, plastic, glass and others; they will also know about compost heaps, on how it works and to always keep them reminded about not wasting water or electricity.

To instill environmental awareness in kids and make the lessons easy to remember, providers can use various fun learning games and activities. Some questions to be raised can include where does paper come from and which bin does waste paper should go into. These activities are lot easier than you would think. Kids are like sponges and they are always curious and very open to new ideas and concepts. Kids have an infectious enthusiasm that goes a long way towards changing more strict mindset outside the day care center. You’d be surprise at some parent getting into trouble with their kids for not recycling!

In a “green” day care center, parents are usually advised to choose products based on the recyclibility of the packaging when they send in store brought snacks. An example is to buy certain good in larger containers or in cardboard boxes instead of plastic packs like in yogurt, raisins and recycling juice bottles. In here, kids are also involved through art projects that incorporate pictures of more environment friendly containers.

Each day care owner is aware that lots of batteries are required for all those annoying or rather educational toys. A great green idea is to use a charger and rechargeable batteries that can be reused and save more money and waste. If you have a lot of those old batteries lying around, you can take them to your local battery charging depot.

A little extra thought and effort even in small changes can make a huge difference. Day care providers and owners have this great opportunity to mould little minds and make environmental concern and awareness a second nature to them. You’d surely feel proud when you hear these little kids reprimanding parents and adults on green issues!

Cleaning and Greening Your Day Care Center
With colder weather and closed shut windows and doors, the season for colds, flu and other respiratory issues seem to open up during these times. These illnesses which are not as prevalent in warmer months can easily spread during those colder months. Studies show that this is because of the insulation we do with the spaces that airborne pollutants are trapped. This makes indoors heavily populated placed like day care centers not a very healthy place to be. But here are some things you can do to improve the air quality in your day care center:

Washing of Mats and Blankets Weekly
In most day care centers, the children are asked to bring their favourite mat or blanket or their sleeping bag for their use on rest time during the day. These mats are hiding places of dust mites which can be sent airborne with the slightest movement. And since kids are going to handle these mats, there is great potential of these mites to become airborne. Mats and blankets should be washed by parents or by the facility at least once a week in hot water to keep mite count at a minimum. If you are letting parents do this, let them know its importance and educate them about the difference it can make in their child’s overall health both at the center and at home.

Get Rid of Carpets
Yes carpets are real cozy, but they can also be great places for pollutants that had been tracked in on shoes such as dust, sand, pollen, mold and mildew spores that have started to grow when they found moisture and again dust mites. With all the kids jumping , bouncing, running and rolling around on the carpet, these pollutants are sure to go airborne and create symptoms in even the healthiest kids and aggravate symptoms of children suffering from chronic allergy and asthma.

Educate Children
Children in your children should learn about germs and how they fly around to make home in someone’s home and cause sickness. Teach them how to make a difference and have control over the germs that they could spread. Instruct kids to cover their mouths with their arms when they sneeze or cough to stop germs from flying out to visit someone else and pile on praises when they are successful at doing it.

Go Green
It may be difficult to do this at once but just after a few months or a year, you can protect your children and staff with products that do not off gas chemicals including cleaning products that are effective without the volatile organic chemicals that off gas easily, natural organic fibers for furniture and curtains, paints and markers as well as glue that are okay for children to breathe. This will be a great thing that you can do to improve air quality, and it will also be a way to model an environmentally friendly way to live both for the kids and their parents.

Use An Air Purifier to Filter the Air
High efficiency particle arresting (HEPA) air purifiers are safe, effective and economical way to remove harmful airborne pollutants such as bacteria and viruses from the air 24 hours everyday. The HEPA technology is recommended by the American Lung Association as well as the International Association of Air Cleaner Manufacturers because of its effectivity without producing toxic ozone gas or off gassing any harmful by-products. HEPA air purifiers only have fresh clean air as it’s by product.

See: How to start a daycare business

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Tom Shieh has written 323 post in this blog.

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