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IPM Training a Success in Childcare Centers

Two Articles Analyze and Discuss SPCP's Work

Pesticide News No. 91Safer Pest Control Project and its work with childcare facilities in promoting Integrated Pest Management (IPM) in Illinois was the subject of two recent articles: Impact of Integrated Pest Management in Illinois (Pesticides News 91 Mar. 2011)and Promoting IPM in Illinois Childcare Centers (Mir, Finkelstein & Tulipano, NeuroToxicololgy 31, 2010 pp. 621-626). The articles focus on analyzing the impact of SPCP's Partnership for Childcare IPM program on the perception and implementation of IPM as a result of training. The childcare program reached out to licensed childcare centers in Illinois to provide training to facility management and staff on how to put in place an IPM program and why it is necessary. A post-training survey was then conducted and is analyzed in these articles showing the success of IPM training for childcare centers in trained versus untrained respondents. The results of the analysis give hope to the future of IPM training to make a real impact on reducing childhood pesticide exposures.

Bed Bug Factsheet Now Available

Bed Bug Information for Schools and Childcares

Bed bugs do not like living in a school or childcare, mostly because we do not live in these places.  They prefer to live in our homes, where we spend hours sleeping with little or no movement.  The main concern for schools and childcares is the potential for transfering bed bugs:  from child to child, child to furniture, furniture to staff, etc.  Bed bugs are notorious stowaways and may hitch a ride in or on bags, clothing, books, and other items; so they are easily brought to and from infested homes.  Bed Bugs in Schools and Childcares provides some basic steps you can take to help control the spread of bed bugs in your facility.

New School and Childcare IPM binder Available

Download your copy today!

Illinois law requires schools and childcares to have an IPM program in place if economically feasible.  This document helps jump start the process.

Download your copy of the
2009 IPM School/Childcare Binder here.

Contained in this document are all the materials your childcare needs to put an IPM program in place including sample policies, forms and protocol. All forms and other documents are formatted as Adobe PDF fillable files so you can make them facility specific.

The document is designed to provide a school or childcare facility with a format for keeping records as well as providing guidance for program development.  It's divided into eight sections.  The first two sections are designed to give background information for program development and the evaluation of your current pest control program.  Subsequent sections prompt and guide you through proper protocol and recordkeeping requirements.  The last section lists important resources.

SPCP recommends creating a tabbed binder and insert one section per tab for easy reference.

Be state-of-the-art! Be proactive! Be green!  Get your IPM program up and running for a safer, healthier learning environment.



SPCP'S Childcare Program Wins National Award

Rachel Rosenberg, Executive Director, traveled to Atlanta on October 21 to accept an EPA Environmental Justice Award on behalf of SPCP.

> More Information

Do It Yourself: Train Your Staff on IPM

PowerPoint slides and a script to help you train your staff.

You've attended a workshop and found it surprisingly interesting and now you need to get your staff on board. Help is on the way. Download the PowerPoint slides and script listed below and you'll be a seasoned IPM teacher in the click of a button.

Download Script for Presentation

Download PowerPoint Presentation

Evaluating Your Pest Management Program with an IPM Eye

And Creating an IPM Plan

This section includes two activities: Evaluate Your IPM Program and Create an IPM Plan.

These two activities are designed to help you evaluate your current Integrated Pest Management program - identify areas that need improvement and establish steps to complete the work - and create an IPM Plan for each pest that might be encountered.

An IPM Plan identifies the IPM Coordinator and lays out routine pest prevention activities and plots a course for managing pest problems if they arise. It is an important part of an IPM program, which also includes pest sighting logs, IPM policies, communication and effective pest prevention practices. 'Create An IPM Plan' provides a template for an IPM Plan. You are not required to use this outline, but many schools and childcares find it helpful in organizing and managing their program.

'Evaluate Your IPM Program' is designed as an intensive checklist to help you identify opportunities for improvement.

The principal or administrator is not expected to know every answer. S/he will meet with the principal, school business official, custodian, facility manager, pest control company, etc. to complete the activities. Regular meetings of relevant individuals will create a foundation for a functional IPM program.

Additional information on pests is available - below.

Activities: Evaluate Your IPM Program; Create an IPM Plan
Pest info: IPM for Ants; IPM for Roaches; IPM for Rodents

IPM in Childcare Centers

In Illinois, there are approximately 3,000 licensed childcare centers; 10,000 licensed childcare homes and 400 group childcare homes, serving approximately 290,000 Illinois children. As of July 1, 2004, all licensed centers are required by state law to use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to control pests inside the facility. Licensed centers must also notify parents and staff and remove toys and objects handled by children prior to spraying pesticides. Many child advocacy organizations recommend IPM as a Best Practice and encourage its use in all childcares – including childcare homes/family providers and group homes.

Children are especially vulnerable to pesticide exposure. Pound for pound, they eat, drink and breathe more than an adult. Their organs and immune systems are not yet fully developed. They are more vulnerable to chemical damage and less efficient at filtering toxins. Children are more exposed to pesticide residues. They often play on the floor or ground where these residues accumulate and often put toys and objects in their mouths, leading to ingestion of residue.

Reducing children’s exposure to pesticides is critical. Studies have shown:

 Children have 50% higher incidence of leukemia if their mothers are exposed to pesticides in the home up to three months before, during or after a pregnancy.1

 Children have a greater risk of developing asthma by age five after pesticide exposure within the first year of life.3

 Asthma is the leading cause of hospitalization for children in Illinois.4

Parents and community members can protect children from pesticide exposure by contacting their center and encouraging them to implement an IPM program. Staff will be more amenable to implementing safer pest control practices if they know that parents are concerned.

1 Ma, Xiaomei et al. “Critical Windows of Exposure to Household Pesticides and Risk of Childhood Leukemia” Environmental Health Perspectives 2002.

2 Daniels, Julie et al. “Pesticides and Childhood Cancers” Environmental Health Perspectives 1997.

3 Towhid Salam, Muhammed et al. “Early-Life Environmental Risk Factors for Asthma: Finding from the Children’s Health Study” Environmental Health Perspectives 2004.

4 Illinois Health Care Cost Containment Council, 1997.

Pediatricians Talk About Pesticides

In December of 2012, the American Academy of Pediatrics released a report and policy statement describing their position on pesticide exposure in children. It points to a growing body of evidence that links childhood exposure to pesticides with negative health outcomes, like behavioral problems, pediatric cancers, and decreased cognitive function.

Their general recommendations include reducing exposure to pesticides in food and where kids play and live. You can access the technical report here.

Has your pediatrician ever discussed pesticide exposure with you? Post on our Facebook about what you think about this report.


Note: To download factsheets, you must sign up. It's free and simple.

IPM Picture Tour: See IPM in Action


Using IPM in Childcares: An Overview


Setting Up Your IPM Program


IPM in Childcare Law


Notification Guidelines - Parents' Right-to-Know


Pesticides in Schools & Childcares: What Are the Health Risks?


Bed Bugs in Schools and Childcares


Sample IPM Policy for Childcares


Contract Specs for IPM in School/Childcare


Create an IPM Plan


Spanish: Set Up Your IPM Program in 8 Steps


Notification Guidelines - Parents' Right-to-Know (Spanish)


Pesticides in Schools & Childcares: What Are the Health Risks? (Spanish)


School & Childcare IPM Law


How Do I Know I'm Receiving IPM?


How to Hire an IPM Contractor


Illinois' New Lawn Care Notification Law - Schools & Childcares


How to hire an IPM contractor (Spanish)


Setting Up Your IPM Program (Spanish)


B.I.T.E. Back! newsletter package, Vol. 1-8


The Truth About Head Lice


IPM in Schools and Childcares Manual



Childcare IPM Law (Public Act 93-0381)

University of Florida School IPM page

Illinois Structural Pest Control Act

EPA's School IPM website

Illinois Department of Public Health

University of Illinois Extension

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