Home-Based Child Care Lead Safety Program

Project Funders: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Operation Lead Elimination Action Grant Program, JPMorganChase, and leveraged public and private funds

Project Partners: Enterprise Community Partners; the Rochester Children’s Nursery (now Rochester Childfirst Network)/Family Child Care Satellite Network of Greater Rochester (FCCSN); Child Care Solutions; Home HeadQuarters, Inc.; and NeighborWorks Rochester, Inc.

Project Contact: Carol Kawecki, ckawecki@healthyhousingsolutions.com, 443.539.4158

Project Description: A safe and healthy child care environment provides the foundation for early learning. Lead poisoning prevention and children’s health issues have many components and require multiple levels of participation. An estimated 24 million homes in the United States have lead-based paint hazards, which can have a debilitating effect on a child’s development. Many of the homes also need other safety-related repairs to the electrical system, stairs, railings, and porches. Home-based child care providers in low-income neighborhoods often live in older housing at risk for these conditions and rarely earn sufficient income to cover the costs of the improvements. Other obstacles include logistical difficulties in doing lead hazard control activity within an operating child care business, and insufficient financial and programmatic resources to address the combined difficulties of controlling lead and safety hazards in home-based child care homes. Project accomplishments included the following:

  •  Improvements to the quality of home-based child care, and thus to the health and well-being of more than 100 children, through the control of lead and safety hazards in 25 family child care homes.
  • Education for more than 75 providers and parents on the causes and effects of lead poisoning and daily maintenance techniques that can reduce lead and other environmental hazards.
  • A relocation strategy that preserved the provider’s business during construction through creation of lead-safe relocation houses approved to serve as child care facilities.
  • Improved coordination between home-based child care providers and community-based housing organizations with home repair assistance programs.
  • Leverages of private funds to impose the lowest cost burden on those who can least afford repairs.
  • An implementation guide containing model documents and practices that integrate lead hazard control, reduction of other environmental hazards, compliance with housing code and child care regulations and energy efficiency to promote national replication.
  • Commitments to replicate the project concept in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 2005-2008.