News from the Executive Office

Eco-Healthy Child Care

Last fall, the University of Maryland’s School of Nursing (SON) began a special project to train nurses to work in community settings. Called The Community and Public Health Environmental Initiative, it is a three-year effort supported by a $750,000 private gift to SON. Lucky for us, our Early Head Start (EHS) programs in Baltimore City have been the focus of the initiative.

Students in the bachelor’s and master’s programs at SON worked under the direction of the talented Laura Allen, hired by the School of Nursing to be the Program Manager. (Laura is also an active participant in MFN’s Public Policy Committee.)

The goal of the initiative is to improve the health of the 300+ children, prenatal to age three, who attend the eight EHS centers in the City. The strategy is to offer training and support to staff at the centers. One of the teaching tools is the Eco-Healthy Child Care© checklist and protocols. Because of its implications for any place people are, especially young children, the checklist’s components are listed below. For more information about the Eco-Healthy checklist, go to the Children’s Environmental Health Network site at For more about the project generally, contact Jean Mitchell, Child Care Checklist