30 Years of Accomplishments
Since 1992 CEHN has been raising awareness, advocating for evidence-based child-protective policy, supporting preventive research, and providing education and training on children’s environmental health protection. CEHN has a history of working with a wide range of stakeholders, from health care and child care professionals to faith and policy leaders, to parents and caregivers, and has partnered with local and national professional and advocacy organizations, and local, state and federal government agencies. Major accomplishments include:
- Sponsored first research workshop on children’s environmental health, bringing together researchers from different disciplines to undertake the challenge of merging pediatric and environmental research. The results of the workshop identified specific data gaps and specific research needs in the field (1993).
Sponsored first national symposium on children’s environmental health titled “Preventing Child Exposures to Environmental Hazards: Research and Policy Issues,” which created a basic policy and research framework for children’s environmental health and galvanized interest at the national level (1994).
Organized the national research conference titled “Children’s Environmental Health: Research, Practice, Prevention and Policy,” that focused on five key research priority areas in the field of children’s environmental health: asthma and respiratory diseases; childhood cancer; endocrine disorders; neurodevelopmental effects; and cross-cutting issues (1997).
Held the first pediatric environmental health conference tailored for health care providers and faculty titled “Pediatric Environmental Health: Putting It Into Practice” in San Francisco (1999).
Hosted the first Global Forum on Children’s Environmental Health in the U.S. Delegates from over 55 nations and 5 continents participated in this historic event (2001).
Organized a “Workshop on Ethical Issues in Children’s Environmental Health Research” (2004).
Hosted premier pediatric epigenetics research conference, "The Contribution of Epigenetics in Pediatric Environmental Health" (2012).
- Hosted research conference, “Children: Food and Environment” (2015).
- Hosted research conference, “Children's Environmental Health Translational Research Conference: New Challenges” (2017).
EDUCATION & TRAINING
- Created first pediatric environmental health curriculum (1990). Updated the curriculum and instructional tools (2014). To date, it has been downloaded thousands of times from CEHN’s website.
- Conducted first training of pediatric health professionals at the Ambulatory Pediatric Association Annual Meeting (1996).
- Published first Resource Guide on Children’s Environmental Health (1997).
- Performed outreach to key health professional organizations and trained over 500 health care providers and public health leaders on effective engagement on children’s health, environmental justice, and the linkages between exposure to environmental hazards and the health and welfare of children.
- Launched the first national environmental health training and assessment pilot program for child care providers/administrators, the Healthy Environments for Child Care and Preschools (HECCP) program (2004). The HECCP trained more than 1,200 child care professionals in California, Georgia, Texas, and the District of Columbia.
- Began managing the national Eco-Healthy Child Care® Program (EHCC), the only national training, assessment and endorsement program for child care facilities on eco-healthy best practices (2010).
ECO-HEALTHY CHILD CARE® (EHCC) PROGRAM
- Endorsed as “eco-healthy” over 3,000 child care facilities, serving over 80,000 children within 49 states, 6 Canadian provinces, 5 Australian states, and Puerto Rico (since 2008).
- Provided the EHCC train-the-trainer course in 33 states + Puerto Rico. Over 86% of participants feel the comprehensive training was “extremely effective” at equipping them to become successful environmental health advocates.
- Launched a first of its kind online Lead-Safe Toolkit for Home-Based Child Care in collaboration with the National Association for Family Child Care and the National Center for Healthy Housing (2019).
- Launched an e-learning course approved for adult learning clock hours in 48 states (2017).
- Provides support and assistance to 25 state health departments in implementing the “Choose Safe Places for Early Care and Education” guidance (2017 - ).
- Collaborated with the National Association for the Education of Young Children to update their Early Childhood Program Standards and Accreditation Criteria. 31 new indicators focused on environmental health were generated and released (2016).
- Maryland incorporated the EHCC program into their state Quality Rating Improvement System, Maryland EXCELS, by offering an Eco-Friendly Achievement Program “Eco-Friendly” badge for licensed child care facilities (2015).
- Worked with the National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care and Early Education to create an Environmental Health Standards collection (2014). The collection includes 123 nationally recognized health and safety standards that have the greatest impact on environmental health in early care and education settings.
- In 2020, the Association for Early Learning Leaders, a child care accreditation body adopted many of EHCC’s environmental health best practices into their standards.
- In 2021, the state of Utah recognized the Eco-Healthy Child Care® program in its Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS). It is one of only four external endorsements that is being used for the state’s QRIS.
The vision that CEHN outlined for addressing children’s issues — Federal interagency coordination, EPA’s Office of Children’s Health Protection, research centers on children’s environmental health, and the National Children’s Study – have all become reality.
Pushed for the effective implementation of the Food Quality Protection Act, a pesticide reform bill that improved the protection of children (1996).
Worked to halt the repeal of the Food Quality Protection Act.
Identified unethical industry testing of pesticides on humans.
Secured research funds for the child care environment.
- Highlighted for policy makers the need to consider children in emerging issues such as climate change and reforming how we regulate chemicals.
- Appointed to Maryland’s Children’s Environmental Health Protection Advisory Committee (the only such state advisory committee).
- Developed a Children’s Environmental Health Voter Guide (2020).
- Established the annual Child Health Advocate Awards (2006)
- Established CEHN as a key national leader on climate change and children’s health
- Established CEHN as a key leader on water quality, health, equity, and access through the Clean Water for All coalition
- Developed a renewed vision and blueprint for the field of Children’s Environmental Health (2015)
- Established CEHN as a key leader in cancer prevention through the Cancer Free Economy Network (2015)
- Launched Children’s Environmental Health Day and re-affirmed the Children’s Environmental Health Movement (2016)
- Released the report, “Children’s Environmental Health Indicators: A Summary & Assessment” (2018)
- Began development and release of children’s environmental health profiles for each state (2019)
- Partnered on the release of the first Childhood Cancer Prevention Report (2020)
WORK FORCE DEVELOPMENT
More than 100 staff, fellows, and graduate student assistants received on-the-job and hands-on education in the field of children’s environmental health as CEHN staff and volunteers.
CEHN’s Board of Directors includes key leaders in the pediatric environmental health arena. Additional guidance for CEHN’s work is provided by the Policy and Science Committees. Members of these committees represent various government, advocacy, community, and research leaders from around the country.