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Five Ways Your Early Childhood Program Can Support Immunization by the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, August 3, 2016

 


During the first years of a child’s life, cognitive, social-emotional, and physical development are inextricably linked.  Poor health in a very young child can have negative impacts on other areas of development[1].  The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) considers health and safety practices as the foundation of quality early care and education settings, and includes immunization as a key component of its Caring for Our Children Basics guidelines [2]. 


Immunizations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) help protect infants and young children from 14 diseases, such as whooping cough, that can be very serious or even deadly.  Institutional outbreaks of whooping cough, such as those in a daycare center or school, are common, taking place each year in many states. Measles outbreaks in childcare settings have also been documented.  

 

“By keeping children healthy and decreasing the chances of outbreaks, immunizations can help early childhood programs create a safe environment for children,” said Dr. Nancy Messonnier, Director of CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.  “This not only applies to child care settings, but also to programs in home settings, where infants and young children be can be exposed to diseases through family and friends.” 

 

Here are five ways that you can support on-time immunization of infants and young children in your early childhood program:

 

1.       Ensure that families in your program are vaccinated according to CDC’s recommended schedule and meet your state’s child care vaccination requirements.  Consult your state health department’s website to find a list of required vaccines.  Find out if your state has an immunization registry.  If it does, ask your state immunization program if early childhood administrators can use it to verify children’s vaccination status. 

 

2.       Ensure that your staff are vaccinated as well, so that they don’t pass along a disease to the children in your program.  It’s especially important for them to be up to date on their pertussis, measles, and flu shots.

 

3.       Promptly notify your state or local health department if any children in your program come down with a notifiable vaccine-preventable disease.  Visit your health department’s website for a list of notifiable diseases in your state.

 

4.       Parents may seek the advice of early childhood program staff when it comes to health and safety issues, especially if their child does not have a regular primary care provider.  Provide your program staff with basic information about the childhood immunization schedule and the benefits and risks of vaccination.  Incorporate this information into your training for new hires and organize special professional development sessions for existing staff.  CDC’s vaccine website for parents (https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/parents) contains useful information for staff without medical training. (See the Resources section.)  CDC also has a suite of materials for health care professionals, which can be accessed at https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/conversations.

 

5.       Educate families in your program about vaccine-preventable diseases and the importance of on-time immunization.  There are many ways to do this.  For example:

a.       Post a link to CDC’s vaccine website for parents (https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/parents) on your program website.

b.      Post messages promoting immunization on your social media accounts. Visit https://go.usa.gov/xxT7R for sample Facebook posts and https://go.usa.gov/xxT7d for sample Twitter messages.

c.       Order free copies of CDC’s Parents Guide to Immunizations and distribute them to parents in your program: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/parents/tools/parents-guide.

d.      Print, and distribute copies of CDC’s Immunizations and Developmental Milestones Tracker: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/parents/downloads/milestones-tracker.pdf.

e.      Print and distribute copies of CDC’s fact sheet “Infant Immunization FAQs”, which is available in English and Spanish: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/parents/parent-questions.html

f.        If there is a disease that is of particular concern in your community, print and distribute CDC’s disease fact sheets (available in English and Spanish): https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/parents/diseases

g.       Print CDC immunization posters and display them in your facilities: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/events/niiw/promotional/print-materials/ads-posters.html#print-ads

h.      Publish CDC’s drop-in articles for parents through in your newsletter or blog: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/events/niiw/media-tools.

 

Immunizations keep children healthy so that they can spend more time learning, growing, and socializing with peers.  Early childhood programs have an important role to play in educating the parents of young children about the benefits of immunization and ensuring that children in their programs stay on schedule with their vaccines. 



 


[1]Ensuring Adequate Health Coverage for Infants and Toddlers.  Zero to Three. Policy Resource.  March 9, 2008.  https://www.zerotothree.org/resources/442-ensuring-adequate-health-coverage-for-infants-and-toddlers

[2] Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 2015. Caring for Our Children Basics. Health and Safety Foundations for Early Care and Education. 

Tags:  child care settings  Child Health  Early Childhood Education  ECE  good health  Immunizations  standards 

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Top 4 Reasons You Should Attend Conference this Year!

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, March 30, 2016
AELL's 2016 Annual National Conference 

 

In our busy days, it's easy to forget the power and importance of investing in a face-to-face conversation with someone who speaks your language and shares your challenges.

There are many benefits to attending this year's conference. There is the power of being connected to other professionals who are active in your field. There are the tremendous tools and resources that might be just what you need to meet those enrollment goals or take your team to the next level. So many early learning professionals cringe at the thought of taking a few days from their program to participate in a conference, but attending an event like the How Successful Directors Lead Conference can be a real game changer for your program and the families it serves.

Choosing to invest in yourself is choosing to invest in your leadership and the team you lead!

Here are four reasons to attend the How Successful Directors Lead Conference:

1. Networking and relationship building - meeting groups of people with shared interests is always fun and empowering! Exchanging ideas and experiences with like-minded individuals will not only be affirming, but can also help you grow personally and intellectually. The opportunity to engage informally at networking events and collaborate with your peers can be a life-giving and a life-long resource.

2. Educational Opportunities - whether you're considering growing in your current position or are looking for a new role, attending the conference will allow you to stay current with the latest trends, research and technologies in the early care and education field and help you sustain and drive business.

3. Sessions tailored just for YOU - With a spectrum of topics offered that address various seasons of leadership; from the new director to seasoned executive leadership. Experts in our industry generously share valuable and practical tools that will make a meaningful contribution to your leadership and the life of your program.

4. Relax and get inspired - attending the conference will get you inspired by breaking out of your usual routine and helping you fully immerse in an expertise rich-environment.

Ready to sign up? Click here.  

Tags:  Administrators  AELL  AELL's National Conference  Directors  Early Care and Education  Early Childhood Education  ECE  How Successful Directors Lead Conference  Leadership Conferenc  Owners  Program Leaders 

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