Baby boy sleeping

Child care program quality depends on many factors. One of the most important aspects of high-quality child care is provider education and training. All adults caring for children should receive training on key health and safety topics.

State child care licensing rules include health and safety training requirements for adults working with children. In addition, federal law requires specific health and safety training for providers who care for children receiving federal financial assistance.

The federal requirements include the following important topics for health and safety training, which apply to adults caring for children in all types of child care settings. Trainings should be customized for the setting and the age of the children being cared for. Ask your provider if he or she has completed training in the following areas:

  1. Pediatric first aid and CPR

  2. Prevention and control of infectious diseases (including immunizations)

  3. Safe sleep practices and prevention of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)

  4. Prevention of shaken baby syndrome, abusive head trauma, and child mistreatment

  5. Recognition and prevention of child abuse and neglect

  6. Use of medication

  7. Prevention of and response to emergencies caused by food allergies

  8. Emergency preparedness and response for natural disasters and other events

  9. Handling, storage, and disposal of hazardous materials

  10. Indoor and outdoor safety (including protecting children from hazards, bodies of water, and traffic)

  11. Safety when transporting children (if applicable)

  12. Child development, physical activity, and nutrition

Additionally, if your child has special needs, you will want to be sure that your provider is able to meet those needs. Be sure to ask about training and experience related to your child’s specific need. Is your provider trained and experienced in making any changes needed to support your child’s health, safety, and learning? Is the provider trained and prepared to respond to emergencies related to your child’s special need?

You can find more information about your state’s child care licensing requirements in the state resources section of this website. The National Database of Child Care Licensing Regulations also provides links to state licensing regulations.


This text has been adapted from content originally created by Child Care Aware of America Grant #90LH002 for the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Administration for Children and Families (ACF), Office of Child Care (OCC).