Child Care Aware of Kentucky Coaches Can Help You Ensure Materials Are Safe

Dec 04, 2017
If you have recently added new materials to your child care environment or are thinking about purchasing new materials, there are several things to take into consideration.

Submitted by: The Lakes and Two Rivers Regions of Child Care Aware of Kentucky

If you have recently added new materials to your child care environment or are thinking about purchasing new materials, there are several things to take into consideration.

  • Check the manufacturer’s recommended ages listed for the materials to make sure they are appropriate for the children who will use the materials.
  • Be sure to follow all manufacturer’s recommendations for installation or use of materials. This is particularly important for larger items used indoors, such as toddler lofts, as well as outdoor play structures.
  • Ensure that there is always adequate supervision where children are present. Kentucky child care regulations state that children should be “withi  n scope of vision and range of voice” at all times (922 KAR 2:120,  Section 2). Additionally, it is important to be close enough to redirect children if they are using materials inappropriately in order to ensure everyone’s safety. 
  • Having additional materials available so you can regularly rotate items in and out of active use keeps children’s interest high and offers new opportunities for learning.
  • Organizing materials by placing items that are intended to be used together and arranging the room so children are able to access materials independently, also helps ensure safety. 

If you have questions about creating safe environments, selecting age appropriate materials, and/or room arrangement, please reach out to your Child Care Aware Coach for technical assistance. Health and Safety Coaches and Quality Coaches are available to assist you with any of these concerns. If you are not sure who your coach is, please visit the Kentucky Partnership website, and click on the county where you are located.

922 KAR 2:120. Section 11. Toys and Furnishings.
(1) All toys, equipment, and furniture contacted by a child shall be:
(a) Kept clean and in good repair; and
(b) Free of peeling, flaking, or chalking paint.

It is important for staff to remain diligent when It comes to materials, equipment and furniture used by children. Staff should check the materials regularly to assure they are in good repair and do not contain damaged paint. A cleaning schedule should be implemented to assure the toys, furniture and equipment are clean.

922 KAR 2:120. Section 11. Toys and Furnishings.
(3) Toys shall be: Used according to the manufacturer's safety specifications;
(b) Durable; and
(c) Without sharp points or edges

All toys need to be used according to the manufacturer’s safety specifications. The director and staff should read the product label to assure the product is not only put together properly, but also to assure children are using the product in the way it was designed. Staff always need to make sure toys are kept durable and without sharp edges.

Article posted in the December 2017 ECE-Insider, a publication of the Kentucky Division of Child Care.