Childcare Inspections Standards (CHINS)
Denver’s Mayor, Michael Hancock, has proposed an initiative to elevate the quality of childcare programs in Denver County. To support these efforts, Denver Environmental Health (DEH) and Denver Public Health (DPH) have combined resources to improve education and outreach efforts to childcare centers (CCCs). It is well-documented that disease prevention practices (immunizations and infection control) promoted by public health and integrated into the child care inspection process are critical in keeping kids healthy.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has tasked certain local public health agencies (LPHAs) to increase collaborative inspection processes, improve immunization rates, and support appropriate infection control in child care and preschool settings. A direct goal of this project, known as the Childcare Inspections Standards (CHINS), is to encourage LPHAs to combine resources and expertise during the childcare center inspection process. A future goal of the initiative is to establish sustainable systems within child care settings. These systems could assist CCCs in self-monitoring immunization rates among their clients and prepare for future child care inspections.
Since initiation of CHINS in 2012, useful immunization and infection control inspection models have been developed, implemented, and shared among participating LPHAs. Building on existing inter-agency relationships, LPHAs are sharing best practices for disease prevention activities. Efficient LPHA child health and inspection programs are now focused on supporting the health of all children in child care settings.
The CHINS project has provided DEH and DPH an opportunity to move forward with specific plans to:
- Reduce infections with diseases that are preventable through vaccination, one of the 10 Winnable Battles for Colorado
- Increase the percentage of children who are up to date on immunizations
- Improve our community’s health through interactions with and education to childcare facilities
- Increase collaboration between public health and environmental health in performing childcare inspections
More information about standards for childcare can be found at the American Academy of Pediatrics Healthy Childcare America website: http://www.healthychildcare.org/index.html
Mink, M. and Yeh, S. (2009). Infections in Child-care Facilities and Schools, Pediatrics in Review. Retrieved from