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Health, Safety and Nutrition in ECE Settings

Course Code: ECED 1122
Faculty: Child, Family & Community Studies
Credits: 1.5
Semester: Flexible delivery ranging over 1 to 15 weeks , 2 hours x 15 weeks
Learning Format: Lecture, Tutorial
Typically Offered: Fall
course overview

In this course students will examine the overall health, safety and nutritional needs of children and apply that information to the role of the Early Childhood Educator in childcare settings. Emphasis will be placed on creating policies and practices to promote the health and well being of children, while helping them establish positive habits and attitudes toward health, safety and nutrition.

Course Content

The following global ideas guide the design and delivery of this course:

  1. Caregivers promote healthy practices in the centre by developing and following health, safety and nutrition policies and procedures, modeling healthy habits, communicating with families and developing a network of community resources.
  2. Prevention and management of illness includes the implementation of effective health and hygienic practices to discourage the spread of disease, the maintenance of children’s health records and the implementation of effective health policies.
  3. Caregivers provide a balance between safe and challenging environments for children by paying close attention to the four components of safety promotion – staff training, physical environment, supervision of children and safety rules.
  4. Healthy nutritional practices ensure a balance between the child’s right to have control over what and how much food s/he consumes and the adult’s responsibility to provide enough food, a variety of wholesome foods and an environment that promotes healthy eating.
  5. Caregivers contribute to the prevention of child abuse, while recognizing and reporting suspected cases.

Methods of Instruction

  • Lecture
  • Class Discussion
  • Audio-visual Aids
  • In-class Exercises

Means of Assessment

This course will conform to Douglas College policy regarding the number and weighting of evaluations.

  • Test(s)
  • Project(s)
  • Research Paper/Presentation

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Implement effective health practices based on centre policies and procedures and government regulations:
    • Explain how germs are spread
    • Describe areas where policies and procedures are needed in child care centres to address health issues
    • Explain the goal of universal precautions and how to put them into practice
    • List and describe common childhood infections and strategies for their control in child care centres
    • Explain the principle of exclusion of sick children from the child care centre and identify the related issues
    • Describe the safe administration of medication to children
    • Describe chronic health issues affecting young children (i.e., allergies and asthma) and effective caregiver strategies for helping children deal with them in child care settings.
  2. Implement safety measures based on centre policies and procedures and government regulations:
    • Describe common types of childhood injuries
    • List and describe areas where policies and procedures are needed to address safety issues in child care settings
    • Explain the relationship between caregiver training (including emergency training) and the promotion of safety
    • Identify strategies for evaluating the safety of indoor and outdoor child care environments
    • Explain the elements of effective supervision of young children
    • Describe effective safety rules for children
    • List the signs of child abuse and neglect, and caregiver strategies for dealing with suspected abuse (including reporting procedures)
    • Identify the procedures for emergency situations (i.e., fire, earthquakes and serious injuries)
  3. Implement a nutrition program based on centre policies and procedures and government regulations:
    • State the practices that create a positive eating environment and encourage children to try new foods
    • Identify policies for fostering healthy nutrition in child care settings
    • Identify developmental issues for infants, toddlers, preschoolers and school-age children that affect their eating behaviour
    • Identify ways in which a variety of nutritious foods can be provided in the centre
    • Describe food safety practices (i.e., reducing choking, preventing food-borne illnesses, etc.).

curriculum guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester/year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

course schedule and availability
course transferability

Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system. 

A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.

For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.


If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.