Child Care Now- February 2016

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February 2016

In the news:


Influenza (flu) and other serious respiratory illnesses, like respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), whooping cough, and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), are spread by cough, sneezing, or unclean hands.

To help stop the spread of germs the CDC recommends:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Practice other good health habits. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school, especially when someone is ill. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.

For more information visit


Quote of the Month

Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.

- Fred Rogers


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Creating Emergency Communication Plans



During emergencies, electricity may be lost. You may not have access to phones, internet or other important information. Plan ahead on how you will communicate with staff, parents and designated security contacts. 

Caring for Our Children: National Health and Safety Performance Standards; Guidelines for Early Care and Education Programs, 3rd Edition  Standard Disaster Planning, Training and Communication states your plan should include:

  • Mechanisms for notifying and communicating with parents/guardians in various situations (e.g., Website postings; email notification; central telephone number, answering machine, or answering service messaging; telephone calls, use of telephone tree, or cellular phone texts; and/or posting of flyers at the facility and other community locations);
  • Mechanisms for notifying and communicating with emergency management public officials;

Save the Children’s  Disaster Checklist for Child Care Professionalsoffers the following tips for developing a communication plan:

  • Find a way to store and access vital records in case power is lost
  • Know two ways to contact a parent and/or guardian
  • Have a contact outside of your area for each child
  • Provide parents with a way to contact your facility during and aer a disaster
  • Ensure local emergency agencies know your location
  • Plan how to get reopening information to parents post-disaster

Read GSA Let’s Be Ready Tip “Emergency Communication” for ideas on using Social Media to stay connected:


Center Spotlight: Region 7


Facilities Management Assistant Commissioner Steve Sakach toured the Young Stars Child Development Center in Dallas, TX during his recent visit to the Greater Southwest Region.   During the visit, Sakach talked with staff and teachers and discussed center use and the commute time of families using the center. " I think he was surprised about the amount of time parents are willing to drive into Dallas with their children to attend the center" said Regional Child Care Coordinator BJ Upton. "Our lack of public transportation and the one man, one car way of life in the wide open spaces of Texas results in a drive time of an hour or more from the suburbs for many of those who use the center".

Young Stars Child Development Center is located in the Terminal Annex Federal Building.  The center recently earned their NAEYC  re-accreditation good through 2021.


Board Business: Training Institute Planned

GSA Child Care and NIH Child and Family Programs are in the process of planning a full day Inter-Agency Federal Child Care Training ​Institute for Wednesday, April 6, 2016 at the NIH Conference Center on their campus in Bethesda, Md.

​This free event is planned for Directors of Federally sponsored child care centers, Center Board members and Agency Liaisons- especially members of the Inter-Agency Federal Child Care Council (IFCCC).  In fact, the first meeting of 2016 for the IFCCC will be held during this event.

Please mark your calendars and be on the lookout for more information to come.