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Thinking of going green?

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Children deserve healthy, safe places to grow and learn

The Go Green Rating Scale and Go Green Rating Scale Handbook outline a research-based, comprehensive set of green standards for early childhood settings and provide a much-needed tool to help your program:
  • measure your setting's greenness
  • evaluate your practices
  • take steps toward improvement
  • inform families about the benefits of green child care
  • contribute to children's potential for long, healthy lives

What green means in early childhood settings

Designed to be an educational tool as well as a measure of conditions, the rating scale is the first product of its kind to define what "green" is in quantifiable terms. There are 43 scales included, with a total of 64 guidelines describing practices or conditions that may be present in your facility. Categories include:
  • air quality
  • cleaning products
  • pests and pesticides
  • lead and other contaminants, such as plastics, formaldehyde, and fire retardants
  • stewardship and green living, including recycling and waste reduction

The Go Green Rating Scale Handbook explains the science and research behind each item in the rating scale and provides support to help you make the proper changes to create and maintain an environmentally healthy and safe setting.

Go Green Rating Scale is for every childhood setting

The Go Green Rating Scale and Go Green Ratings Scale Handbook are intended for all early childhood programs in any setting, from child care centers to home-based family child care. The rating scale can be administered by employees of the early childhood setting, such as center directors, teachers, caregivers, maintenance workers, and building managers, or by third parties.

It pays to be green

When you understand what is safe, environmentally friendly, and healthy when it comes to practices and products used in early childhood settings, there are many benefits in store. Such advantages include:
  • Providing the healthiest environment available to growing children
    • Young children are vulnerable in their early years. Developmentally, they are susceptible to environmental hazards that may affect their potential for long, healthy lives. The Go Green Rating Scale delivers powerful information about products and practices that can seriously impact children's health and well-being.
  • Increasing attendance and staff productivity
    • Poor indoor air quality can lead to absent employees, sick children, and lost efficiency in your business. Many remedies for poor indoor air quality are simple, cost effective, and have lasting benefits.
  • Improving you market incentives
    • Many child care programs are in a competitive market/ Distinguishing the unique characteristics of your business may lead to increased tuition receipts and market share, or to attendance stability
  • Gaining positive social recognition
    • Be recognized in the community as a progressive, green, healthy, and safe setting. The Go Green Rating Scale Handbook provides sample letters to inform families about the benefits of your green program.

Ready, set, go green!

Embracing a greener lifestyle means improving your and children's health, helping nature flourish, and, ultimately, improving the overall quality of life. It can be easy to get overwhelmed by all the details of what it takes to go green, but it's also simple to begin making a positive impact. Let the Go Green Rating Scale and Go Green Rating Scale Handbook show you the way.

Meet the Author


Phil Boise is the director of GreenCare for life, non-profit organization that promotes environmental quality and stewardship in early care, elder care, schools, parks, agriculture, and the home through positive incentives. He has worked extensively over the past twenty-five years with child care programs, schools, parks, landscape professionals, and ranchers on all elements of sustainable resource management. He is an integrated pest management specialist, a trainer and educator, and has written several guidebooks and training curriculum. Phil graduated from the University of California-Santa Cruz and holds degrees in biology and environmental studies.


 How to go green

Go Green Rating Scale cover

Go Green Rating Scale
for Early Childhood Settings

Children are vulnerable in their early years, and, developmentally, they are susceptible to environmental hazards that may affect their potential for long, healthy lives.

Go Green Rating Scale Handbook Cover

Go Green Rating Scale
for Early Childhood Settings Handbook

After completing the Go Green Rating Scale, use the Go Green Rating Scale Handbook to take the proper steps toward improving your score.


Go Green Rating Training Covers

Now Available!
Go Green Rating Scale Training

Teach others the benefits of the GGRS! Three training modules support the GGRS and GGRS Handbook and provide everything you need for a one-, three-, or six-hour training.

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