Child Care Center increases environmental protection for children

February 11, 2010

Indiana State University's Child Care Center has received the highest award from state officials for its commitment to environmental protection for children.

Each of the center's three programs has taken voluntary actions to gain membership in the Indiana Department of Environmental Management's Five Star Environmental Recognition Program for child care providers.

"We appreciate the opportunity to partner with the Indiana Department of Environmental Management and love the peace of mind that comes with the Five Star Program," said Gail Gottschling, the center's director.

"We now offer free lead screening for the children and have tested the buildings for radon and lead. ISU provides so much support in terms of recycling and other environmentally friendly initiatives, and we are proud to extend these initiatives to the Child Care Center."

The Five Star program recognizes child care facilities that go above and beyond statutory requirements and demonstrate environmental stewardship. Facilities earn one, three or five stars based on their voluntary measures. The Environmental Management Department assists facilities in implementing environmental plans and conducts site visits before granting membership.

"ISU Child Care Center understands that children are a precious resource," said department Commissioner Thomas Easterly. "Steps child care providers take today to protect children from environmental health threats such as pesticides and vehicle exhaust helps to ensure a healthy tomorrow for the children in their care."

The center's programs serve infants, toddlers and two- to five-year-olds. It is among 69 child care providers participating in the Five Star Program, making their facilities safer for 4,000 Hoosier children. Other Five Star members in Vigo County include Hamilton Center Inc., Early Head Start on 15th St. and Hamilton Center Inc. Early Head Start on14th St., both located in Terre Haute.

Additional information about the Five Star Child Care program can be obtained by calling Karen Teliha, community environmental health and education coordinator with the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, at 1-800-988-7901 or by visiting www.idem.IN.gov/4180.htm.

About the Indiana Department of Environmental Management
IDEM (www.idem.IN.gov) implements federal and state regulations regarding the environment. Through compliance assistance, incentive programs and educational outreach, the agency encourages and aids businesses and citizens in protecting Hoosiers and our environment.

About Indiana State University Child Care Center

ISU's Child Care Center is designed as a comprehensive child care/child development center to serve the children, six weeks to five years, of ISU students, faculty, staff members, and community families. An additional feature of its design is to provide an exemplary child care program for academic research and training.

Photo: http://isuphoto.smugmug.com/photos/687268114_cigja-L.jpg - Teacher Tiffany Cherry works with children at the ISU Child Care Center, among the newest participants in the state's Five-Star Environmental Recognition Program for child care providers.

    Contact: Gail Gottschling, director, Child Care Center, Indiana State University, 812-237-2547 or gail.gottschling@indstate.edu