“Zip code is more important than genetic code in infant mortality” is a truism that highlights social determinants as a root cause: healthy babies require healthy and safe parents and healthy and safe communities. In zip code 46201 (and 13 other zip codes facing a high infant mortality rate) high quality, safe infant care has been identified as a major need.
Safe sleep is the most preventable cause of infant mortality and is related to one out of every 8 deaths. Unsafe sleep situations are occurring in day care centers and in the home.
Kohl’s Caring For Our Kids envisions child care centers being a central resource for families in regards to learning about child safety especially regarding safe sleep practices. Staff will ensure that necessary resources are present for infant safe sleep (approved cribs, sleep sacks, etc.) and model safe sleep practices for each center.
In order to facilitate safe sleep environments within the home, safe sleep kits will also be distributed within the child care and community settings. Kits will include a Kohl’s sleep sack, a Phillips pacifier, cribette and the board book Sleep Baby Safe and Snug.
Kohl’s Caring For Our Kids program will complete in-person baseline and annual surveys at child care centers to determine specific gaps preventing the site from working towards National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) accreditation. A major challenge for providers in successfully completing the steps to accreditation is insufficient means to meet standards regarding toys and equipment. Initial priority will be given to the infant sites that have shown the willingness to start the accreditation process, but have met barriers to improving their rating. As the infant care providers move closer to NAEYC accreditation, they are eligible for higher reimbursement from the federal voucher program for low income families, hence leading to a higher revenue and long term ability to sustain the quality. This will serve as a model to reach additional infant care centers in other at-risk zip codes in the future.
In-person assessments have occurred at 25 infant child care centers to date.
By reporting even the slightest suspicion of child abuse or neglect, you could help save the life of a child. Do not be afraid to report; you may be the only witness. Call the Indiana State Child Abuse Hotline to make an anonymous report. This number is answered 24-hours a day, seven days a week. Corrective investigative actions can then take place to help the child.
Call 911 if the child is in imminent danger.