Early Learning Centers

Program Overview

Women for a Healthy Environment (WHE) educates individuals about environmental risks to human health, provides action steps communities can take to mitigate those risks and advocates for solutions that better protect the region. We serve parents, students/children, school and early learning personnel, health and community-based organizations, with an emphasis on those living in underserved communities.  

This is why WHE collaborates with the Children’s Environmental Health Network to provide Eco-Healthy certifications that highlight the work being done at Early Learning Centers to become healthier and more environmentally sustainable. Our certification helps centers showcase their shared commitment to keeping children healthy and safe from environmental toxins and encourages others to do the same. 

1000 hours A Year Program

Science is clear: Lead and Radon impact children’s growth and learning, which is why WHE developed the 1000 Hours a Year Program. 1000 Hours a Year uses available grants to help schools, early learning centers and after-school programs in Allegheny County create healthier learning environments without the dangers of lead and radon poisoning. WHE’s Healthy Early Learning Centers Program helps facilitate these grant agreements to ensure Centers are receiving the resources necessary to ensure children’s learning environments are healthy. Visit the Program’s website using the link below for more information.

Greening Early Child Care Facilities

As parents, we want to make the best choices for our families inside and outside the home. To learn more about better ways to choose an early childhood center or about how to make changes within your center, read our fact sheet about Greening Early Child Care Facilities.


What You Can Do

  • Learn about environmental exposures and adopt the Eco-Healthy Childcare Checklist® (contact us for technical assistance). 
  • With our assistance, staff can work together to create a multi-pronged approach to address potential exposures such as cleaning products, school supplies, mold, pesticides, and dust which can lead to poor air quality. 
  • Start a “green team” or “wellness committee” at your center to improve the overall health and well-being of children and staff. 
  • Request Healthy Schools PA visit your center for a free assessment or workshop, which can be delivered to staff and/or parents.

Eco-Healthy Childcare Checklist

The Children’s Environmental Health Network’s award winning Eco-Healthy Childcare Checklist® offers tips, tools and easy-to follow steps that will immediately benefit the health and well-being of the children in your care. 

Other Support

As parents, we want to make the best choices for our families inside and outside the home. To learn more about how to practice “greening” Early Childcare Facilities, check out these helpful fact sheets.


Maternal and Child
Health Guide

Managing Mold

Greening Early Childcare Facilities

Interested in supporting this program?

For just $25, you can help us provide an environmentally friendly welcome kit to centers and help them “green” their facility, keeping both children and staff healthy and safe. 

Give $25 To Support Our Work

Where We Work

Healthy changes in early learning environments can immediately benefit the well-being of young children and create toxin-free early learning settings.  We work with early childhood education centers to educate and eradicate the use of toxic pesticides and cleaning products, encourage the installation of chemical-free furniture and carpets and toys, promote improved air and water quality and family education.

Child Care® program

Using the award-winning Eco-Healthy Child Care® program, WHE staff will meet with your team to identify low and no-cost best practices to immediately benefit the health and well-being of children and staff in your learning center. Upon successful completion of the program, your center will be designated as “Eco-Healthy.”
Eco-Healthy Child Care Program-min

Green Cleaning for Child Care Providers

Green cleaning refers to the use of cleaning products with a reduced impact on human health and the environment, often because they have been re-formulated to eliminate the most potentially toxic ingredients. Child care providers recognize the important role cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting can have in maintaining an attractive, safe, hygienic environment and reducing the spread of germs. But, it is important to know when cleaning is good enough and when sanitation or disinfection, which may involve harsher chemicals, is called for.

Given the growing set of state requirements promoting green cleaning in early learning environments and schools and increased availability of green cleaning products, it is important for child care providers to know how to identify and use green cleaning products.