School of Public Health researchers develop emergency preparedness training for daycare providers

July 29, 2006
Emergency preparedness and response training materials developed by researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s School of Public Health are being used to help North Carolina daycare providers and staff members prepare for both natural and man-made disasters.

The “Emergency Preparedness and Response for Child Care Training Module,” which provides standardized training for emergency situations, was developed and pilot-tested by UNC researchers last year, and has since been used to train nearly 1,000 providers and child care staff working in more than 680 child care facilities across the state.

Nearly 180 child care health consultants, child care resource and referral personnel (at organizations such as Smart Start) and N.C. Division of Child Development staff have been trained to deliver the free training to daycare providers and staff. A list of these qualified trainers can be found online at .

Dr. Jonathon Kotch

Dr. Jonathon Kotch

“The training prepares daycare providers and staff to respond to anything from a hurricane or flood to a chemical spill, bomb threat or terrorist attack,” said Dr. Jonathan Kotch, who directed the training module’s development and is professor of maternal and child health at the School of Public Health.

“Part of the training includes developing a functional facility-specific emergency plan,” Kotch added. “This includes developing a specific evacuation plan.”

The training additionally educates childcare providers on how to assess the risks in their county and identify community resources, and, how to compile and maintain an emergency “grab and go” supply kit for their facility. Additionally, the training provides information on how to help children and staff members cope with the feelings that may arise in emergency situations.

More information about the training module, which was developed with funding from the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services’ Division of Child Development, can be found online at .

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For further information, please contact Ramona DuBose either by phone at 919-966-7467 or by email at