During the heat of the 2021 summer, Women for a Healthy Environment (WHE), with funding from the Public Health Maintenance Corporation (PHMC), provided environmental health technical assistance to over 50 childcare centers and home daycare providers throughout Philadelphia.
WHE conducted two webinars. The first trained childcare providers on Lead in Drinking Water and Dust exposure, Integrated Pest Management, Radon and Green Cleaning. Participants of the first webinar identified the need for green cleaning supplies, lead in drinking water testing, lead dust testing and radon assessments along with environmental health fact sheets in follow-up feedback. In response, WHE delivered over 50 green cleaning starter kits which included: third party certified disinfectant, sanitizer and glass cleaner with microfiber cloths, lead water filtration pitchers and extra filters, and environmental health fact sheets. A second training webinar with Bill McGarvey, Director of Training and Sustainability for Imperial Dade, Hatboro was conducted on how to effectively use the products distributed in the kits.
What did WHE learn from this project? Through our phone calls and personal interactions, we learned that childcare providers are devoted to creating the healthiest and safest spaces for the children and families they service, however they need training and guidance. They are open to learning what they can do above and beyond the requirements to help their children thrive. Working with PHMC, WHE now understands that in environmental justice communities throughout Philadelphia dedicated center operators offer love, caring, concern, safety and education to children, so their parents can work. They do it even when they are short staffed, and operating on tight budgets.
Regina Price of Sunbright Daycare is with WHE Healthy Buildings Director, Lorna Rosenberg. WHE helped Sunbright test for lead in drinking water and provided them with green cleaning supplies.