Sun Safety in the Childcare Community

A Toolkit for Program Directors in Nova Scotia
Young children up to the age of five have good sun protection habits¹, though the habits tend to diminish once children reach 6 years of age. Other statistics show that an estimated 75% of skin cancers could be prevented by adequate skin protection in childhood².
In an effort to sustain good sun safety practice in young children, Sun Safe Nova Scotia has worked with Community Services, Child Care Services to understand sun safety practices and challenges in child care centres across the province.
A study of Nova Scotia child care centres found that child care centre staff are aware of the importance of sun safety in early childhood and apply sun safety measures with the children in their care.  Staff also identified opportunities to improve sun safety practices in child care settings and the need to address some of the challenges in their sun safety practices.
In response, Sun Safe Nova Scotia has worked with Community Services, Child Care Services to develop Play it Sun Safe Guidelines and Best Practice for Sun Safety in Nova Scotia’s Child Care Centres. This information guide outlines the importance of addressing sun safety in the child care setting, it encourages program directors and staff to consider incorporating sun safety guidelines in their child care setting, and it provides them with details on sun safety guideline development and implementation. 
¹ National Sun Survey Highlights Report 2008
² Abeck, D, Feucht J, Schafer T, Behrendt H, Kramer U, Ring J (2000) Parental sun protection management in preschool children.  Photodermatology, Photoimmunology and Photomedicine. Vol 16, Issue 3, pp. 139-143). 
Sun Safety in Licensed Child Care Centres (full report) is available through the  Nova Scotia Department of Community Service, Child Care Services.
In collaboration with Community Services, Child Care Services, Sun Safe Nova Scotia has developed additional tools to support guideline implementation in the child care setting.