Healthy Environments for Child Care and Preschools (HECCP)


Although most U.S. children under age six spend up to 40 hours a week in child care settings, little has been done to protect young children from environmental health hazards in child care and preschools. CEHN identified preschools and child care settings as a missed opportunity to address children’s environmental health. In response, a program called Healthy Environments for Child Care Facilities and Preschools (HECCP) was launched in 2004.


The HECCP program completed its work in 2010, and some aspects of it were incorporated into the Eco-Healthy Child Care® program (EHCC).  EHCC was created by the Oregon Environmental Council (OEC) in 2004. As of October 2010, CEHN manages EHCC in cooperation with OEC.  Click here to find out more about EHCC.


 What was the goal of the HECCP?

The goal of HECCP was to train and educate child care providers and administrators on creating healthier and safe environments. The assessment and training program we developed enabled child care providers and administrators to:


1. Understand children's vulnerabilities to environmental health exposures;

2. Identify environmental health hazards in and around child care facilities;

3. Determine methods to alleviate and remove environmental health hazards;

4. Develop communication and identification strategies for parents to reduce environmental health risks at home;

5. Obtain up-to-date information answering questions about environmental health safety in their facilities from local, state, and national organizations and additional resources.


The core of the training curriculum included 15 modules on topics such as safer cleaning, air quality, pesticides, lead, mercury, plastics, and indoor mold.


The first pilot was held in California’s Alameda and Contra Costa counties. The HECCP then expanded to Georgia in 2006, received support to expand further into Washington, DC in 2007, and Texas in 2008. CEHN has trained over 1300 child care professionals in over 400 facilities around the nation.