About
The Louisiana Department of Health’s Section of Environmental Epidemiology and Toxicology (SEET) has partnered with the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) to reduce children’s risk of being exposed to dangerous chemicals during their care through a program called Choose Safe Places for Early Care and Education (CSPECE).

The Problem
Even if Early Childhood Education (ECE) programs meet current state licensing regulations, the programs may be located in places where children and staff can be exposed to environmental contamination. As a result, a new ECE program might open in a chemically contaminated industrial building that was never cleaned up, or next door to a business using harmful chemicals. This can put staff and children, who are more sensitive to the effects of chemicals, at risk of health problems.  When these issues are discovered after exposures have happened, children may have negative health effects and ECE programs may be forced to shut down.  Preventing problems, by ensuring ECE programs are safely located, is vital to ensure the health, and economic and social well-being of families that rely on them.

Our Goal
To protect children in early care and education programs from potential exposure to chemicals such as arsenic, lead, pesticides, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) through the education of childcare professionals regarding risks of exposure and by providing guidance to childcare professionals when choosing a location for a facility. SEET has developed a questionnaire for childcare providers to use when considering a location for their facility. This questionnaire may not be a comprehensive list of potential hazards that you may find on or near your property but should serve as a starting point when selecting a location. All completed questionnaires will be sent to SEET for review. Upon review of the completed questionnaire a member of our staff may contact you to provide additional guidance.

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* 1. Contact Information

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* 2. Was the property or daycare facility ever used in the past for any of the following?

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* 3. Are any of the following items visible at the property where the daycare center is located?

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* 4. Are any of the following visible at the building within which the daycare center operates?

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* 5. Are any of the following businesses operating immediately adjacent to the daycare center, and within the same building or building complex as the daycare? For example, if a daycare center is located next door to a dry cleaner but the dry cleaner is in a separate building, do not check the box. If a daycare center is located within the same strip mall building complex as a nail salon/ hair salon, but the nail salon is several (or more) doors away from the daycare center, do not check the box. However, if a daycare center is next door to a nail salon/ hair salon and within the  same strip mall building, check the nail salon box.

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* 6. Is the day care on a private water supply such as a well or cistern?

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