We are pleased to announce that Oakton Community College’s Early Childhood Education centers have been endorsed under the Eco-Healthy Child Care program! This program, sponsored by the Child Environmental Health Network (CEHN), “supports child care providers in creating child care settings that are as environmentally healthy as possible. The program allows parents to locate child care facilities that are committed to creating a safer, healthier environment for children to learn and grow”.
This endorsement will help us to share our commitment to the well-being of our children and the environment with families throughout our communities. Parents looking for Eco-Healthy Centers can find a searchable list of providers on the CEHN site. There are currently about 30 Eco-Healthy centers in Illinois; Oakton’s Early Childhood Centers mark the first in Skokie and the second in Des Plaines.
“Child care centers and family home programs qualify as “Eco-Healthy” by completing a checklist that highlights 30 simple, free or low-cost steps that help you make safer choices for children. Eco-Healthy providers commit to reducing children’s exposure to environmental health hazards” (http://www.cehn.org/our-work/eco-healthy-child-care/). In addition, the endorsement opens up a variety of resources and professional development opportunities for our educators.
Each of the measures taken goes hand-in-hand with Oakton’s overall green initiatives. The Centers have been practicing and expanding sustainability initiatives for several years through reuse, recycling, and nature play. For meal times, we partner with Gourmet Gorilla to bring our students locally sourced, sustainable food choices. This year, we are also working to eliminate the use of Styrofoam and pilot a food waste composting program to reduce our landfilled waste.
Both Centers are now accepting students for Fall enrollment. The programs are open to all community members; you do not need to be affiliated with the College as a staff or student to enroll your child. Find more details on our website.