Eco Healthy Childcare Endorsement for Eastern PA’s AJ Early Learning Center

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Relay Day was held at AJ Early Learning Center in Elkins Park, PA last month to recognize the Eco-Healthy Childcare endorsement the center earned from the Children’s Environmental Health Network R(CEHN). Children 15 months to 5 years old participated in relays and games using recycled materials including water bottle bowling, feed the clown recyclable bottle tops, topple the can tower, and plastic container mini golf organized by movement teacher, Jill Slobotkin. Children’s demanding work was rewarded with ice pops and wholesome fun was had by all. 

Women for a Healthy Environment worked with AJ’s Director Anita Block, to achieve the CEHN endorsement. AJ is only the fourth center is southeastern Pennsylvania to earn this commendation.  

The Eco-Healthy Childcare endorsement means a lot for the students, families, and faculty at AJ. Through sampling and testing, it is clear the water consumed at AJ is lead-free, which is critical since lead is a contaminant that can cause brain impairment and developmental delays in children. Soil testing around the building where children play, and gardens grow, also shows no evidence of lead. Testing for radon, which is a colorless, odorless gas that can seep through the foundation and lead to lung cancer, was not detected in the building. AJ uses EPA Safer Choice non-toxic, non-bio accumulative sanitizers and disinfectants to manage the spread of viruses and bacteria and keep the facility clean for everyone.  

AJ is a non-smoking facility and has posted anti-idling signs to encourage all visitors/users to turn off their engines. Especially since COVID 19 soft toys are washed regularly, and carpets and floors are cleaned daily to remove particulates which aggravate asthma and allergies. An Integrated Pest Management Program is in place which keeps unwanted pests out with non-chemical means using door sweeps, closed container food storage and general good housekeeping and site management. 

AJ Early Learning Center can now proudly add Eco-Healthy to its Keystone 4-star rating as a state licensed facility to assure families that precautions are in place to keep their children safe and healthy.  

For more information contact: Lorna Rosenberg- Healthy Buildings Manager, Women for a Healthy Environment;



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8:30am– Welcome from Phil Johnson, Heinz Foundation on the Healthy Schools PA State of the Schools Report 

9:00-10:00am: First Keynote speaker: former Climate Advisor to the Obama Administration and Activist, Molly Kawahata

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