FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Oregon Environmental Council’s Successful Eco-Healthy Child Care Program Becomes National Organization
Program merges with another leading program to increase capacity and effectiveness in offering comprehensive environmental-health standards to child-care providers throughout the United States
The two premier programs to improve environmental-health standards at child-care facilities merge to form a national program.
Portland, OR—Oregon Environmental Council (OEC) announces that its Eco-Healthy Child Care program (EHCC) is merging with the Washington, DC-based Children’s Environmental Health Network’s Healthy Environments for Child Care Facilities and Preschools program (HECCP) to create a national program for child-care providers throughout the United States, also called the Eco-Healthy Child Care program.
Children’s Environmental Health Network (CEHN) will lead the new national program, with OEC serving as an advisor. Hester Paul, EHCC’s director at OEC will move to the national program as its director, bringing her expertise, dedication, and skill to ensure EHCC continued successful growth. OEC will also continue to provide services to child-care providers in Oregon.
“Eco-Healthy Child Care has been so effective at protecting children from environmental-health hazards that child-care facilities across the country—and even as far off as Australia—have sought it out,” says Andrea Durbin, OEC’s executive director. “Since OEC’s priority is Oregon, it made perfect sense to transition this program to an effective national organization like CEHN to expand its reach and ability to help thousands more child-care professionals protect the health of children throughout the U.S.”
Since 2005, OEC’s award-winning EHCC program has worked with child-care professionals to eliminate or reduce environmental health hazards found in and around child-care facilities, such as lead-based paint, phthalates in toys, mold and mildew. and pesticides. EHCC currently endorses 1,492 facilities that have performed the program’s required self-audits and complied with 24 out of 30 of its best practices for environmental health. CEHN has been the voice for children’s environmental health in the nation’s capital since 1992, and, since 2004, the organization has managed HECCP in California, Georgia, Washington, DC, and Texas, supporting over 3,000 children. HECCP is the only program in the nation that collects on-site pre- and post-environmental-assessment data in child-care facilities. Together, the programs care for nearly 65,000 children within 48 states, Canada, and Australia.
Since children are especially vulnerable to harmful substances in their environment, EHCC offers a science-based, practical training for child-care providers to make simple choices for healthier facilities that will protect children and staff from harmful chemical exposures. When a provider commits to the program’s best-practices techniques, EHCC endorses the provider—and then helps interested parents find endorsed facilities. This national launch includes directed efforts with child-care facilities in four to six states a year over the next four years. This year, EHCC will focus on Michigan, New Mexico, Idaho, and Vermont.
For more information about the national Eco-Healthy Child Care program, go to www.cehn.org/ehcc
Oregon Environmental Council safeguards what Oregonians love about Oregon—clean air and water, an unpolluted landscape and healthy food produced by local farmers. For more than 40 years we've been a champion for solutions to protect the health of every Oregonian and the place we call home. Find out more at www.oeconline.org.