Choose safe places header

The Health and Risk Assessment Program (HRAP) within the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (MDHSS) has created a program focused on helping prospective owners and operators choose locations for child care facilities that are safe from potential environmental hazards.

Children are more sensitive to toxic chemicals than adults and being exposed to hazardous contaminants can have lifelong health effects. Because many children spend a majority of their time during the week in a child care center, it is important to be proactive about keeping these environments safe from harmful substances.

Our team partners with professionals from the environmental health sciences, child care licensing, and early care and education to help prevent childhood exposure to harmful chemicals and contaminants.

Identifying and addressing potential environmental site hazards, especially before a child care program is licensed, can prevent and reduce harmful exposures to the children in your care and help ensure the environment where they grow, learn, and play is safe.

As you are deciding on the future location for your child care center, the Missouri HRAP team is available to assist you in determining whether the future property or well water has environmental contaminants of concern. Participation in the program is voluntary and our services are free.

How to participate:

  1. Begin by filling out the short property questionnaire here.
  2. Submit the form electronically or print it and send by mail to the address listed at the bottom of the form.
  3. Our team will review your responses, evaluate data, and provide you a report with our findings and make recommendations for your property.

Four Key Elements to Consider Before Choosing a Location for a New Child Care Facility

Disclaimer: Choose Safe Places for Early Care and Education is a voluntary program that owners/operators of childcare facilities may choose to participate in. The above is provided as general guidance only and to increase overall safety awareness.

This information is not intended to constitute legal or medical advice and you should use it at your own risk. The user should seek the advice of appropriate professionals when making decisions regarding environmental conditions. The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) accepts no responsibility or liability for damages arising from use of this information. DHSS does not make any warranty, express or implied; assume any legal liability for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information herein; represent that its use would not infringe privately owned rights; nor assume any liability with respect to the use of, or for damages resulting from the use of any information, method or process disclosed in this publication.

Other Resources

This program was developed in partnership with the Agency for Toxic Substance and Disease Registry as part of a national initiative.