Health and Family Services Cabinet
Public Health Launches Child Care Health Consultation Helpline
Initiative is part of the Healthy Start in Child Care Program
The Kentucky Department for Public Health has launched a toll-free helpline to assist child care providers and other child care consultants across the state.
The Child Care Health Consultation Helpline, 877-281-5277, can be accessed toll-free for technical assistance to child care centers, including answering questions and providing information about health, nutrition, safety and social/emotional well-being of children. For centers in need of onsite consultation, staff will facilitate contacting the nearest local health department child care center consultants.
“This is a wonderful resource for our child care providers, who will now have access to information at their fingertips,” said Ruth Shepherd, M.D., director of the DPH maternal and child health division. “This is one more thing we can do to help create nurturing, safe environments for children.”
The new Child Care Health Consultation is staffed by the Child Care Health Consultant Technical Assistants at the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department from 8 to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday. There is a voicemail system for messages after hours.
Implemented in July 2000 as Healthy Start in Child Care, Child Care Health Consultation is a KIDS NOW Initiative that provides consultation on health, safety and nutrition to child care providers. Trained Child Care Health Consultants from the local health departments participate in joint activities with the resource and referral agencies in their area to ensure collaboration and coordination regarding health, safety and nutrition issues impacting the quality of child care.
“For many years, this program has been helping Kentucky’s child care providers in their efforts to ensure healthy and safe environments for children,” said Cabinet for Health and Family Services Inspector General Mary Begley. “The addition of the hotline further enhances efforts to reach out to the provider community and assist them in their work to care for children.”
Approximately 2,300 licensed child care facilities in Kentucky and 700 certified family child care homes will benefit from this technical assistance. Currently, there are 88 child care health consultants in health departments across the state.