Choosing Safe Locations for Child Care Facilities – Washington Choose Safe Places (WCSP)

By: Elmer Diaz ([email protected])

What is Washington Choose Safe Places?

In April 2020, Washington State Department of Health (DOH) received funding from the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) to reduce or eliminate exposure to harmful chemicals at specific sites. 

As part of a national initiative to reduce or eliminate these exposures, DOH is starting a Choose Safe Places for Early Care and Education program in Washington called Washington Choose Safe Places (WCSP). The goal of WCSP is to prevent children’s exposure to harmful chemicals at childcare facilities located on or near hazardous areas and to promote the safe siting of early care and education (ECE) facilities. DOH is partnering with other state agencies to build WCSP, and we are seeking additional partners to collaborate with as we plan and implement this program.

Why is it important?

Even if ECE facilities meet current state childcare licensing regulations, it is still possible that they are located in places where children and staff can be exposed to harmful chemicals in the environment. Children are particularly sensitive to the effects of chemicals because they are still growing. After exposures happen, children may have negative health effects and ECE programs may have to close. Safely located ECE programs ensure the health, economic, and social well-being of families who rely on them.

How can you help?

DOH is seeking your participation to learn about ECE siting issues and to gather your support in developing and implementing the WCSP program. Please let us know if you are interested in representing your organization and willing to participate in an advisory capacity. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Contact us:

Please email [email protected] with any questions or concerns.