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Chapter 6: Safer ECE Program Siting Program Tools

This chapter contains tools you can use or modify to build a safe ECE siting program, including the following:

  • Forms developed by two state health departments for their own state safe siting programs.
  • Questions to start conversations about safe siting.
  • Training topics for different audiences, including ECE program inspectors, ECE program owners and operators, local zoning official, and local or state health departments.
  • A primer on unique risk communication challenges when children have been exposed to hazardous substances at an ECE program, and how to address such challenges.
  • GIS techniques that help in identifying the proximity of ECE programs to areas of hazardous materials and sources of data for use in analysis.
Safer ECE Program Siting Program Forms

Connecticut and New York have developed forms to evaluate whether ECE programs are safely sited. The forms may be modified to meet each program’s specific needs.

Connecticut Environmental Issues Referral Form for Inspections of Child Care Centers and Group Child Care Homes

Inspectors use this form during their regular child care inspections to identify

  • Lands or buildings that might have residues of hazardous chemicals.
  • Lands or buildings that were previously used for industrial operations.
  • Businesses located within the same building complex as the child care center whose use of hazardous chemicals could affect the center.

If an inspector observes any of the items on this form, the property is referred for follow-up. The form is available at….pdf.

Connecticut Property History Questionnaire for Child Care Center and Group Child Care Home Applicants

A property history questionnaire is included in the application package for a child care license. The questionnaire asks applicants for information about the following:

  • Past ownership and use of land and buildings planned for child care use.
  • Available environmental site assessment reports for the child care property.
  • Observations on the property that could indicate the presence of hazardous materials or a past use of hazardous material.

The questionnaire provides applicants with guidance about how to find property history information. The form is available at

Connecticut Child Care Well Testing Letter

When a child care center (or more commonly, child care operating in a family home) uses a private well for drinking and cooking water, additional testing might be needed to be sure the water is safe to use. Basic well testing required by child care licensing regulations does not cover all the harmful contaminants that could be in private well water. The letter strongly encourages the child care operator to test their well for the full range of harmful contaminants and includes testing guidance.

Appendix B shows an example of the letter.

New York Environmental Hazards Guidance Sheet

This guidance sheet

  • Offers an overview of potential hazards at a child care center.
  • Describes potential hazards that might affect child care centers and early learning facilities, and the exposure path and route of exposure to harmful substances.
  • Lists common sources of environmental hazards that might need to be evaluated.
  • Lists environmental hazards primary contacts in a table that summarizes hazards by group, contaminant, and the appropriate agency to provide assistance when needed.

The form is available at