This week we’re excited to announce the launch of LeadCare Illinois, a new program that provides free lead in water testing, training, and mitigation education to help licensed child care providers comply with Illinois rules.
While lead exposure has health implications for all people, the effects are especially concerning among infants and children under the age of six. Even low levels of lead exposure in children have been linked to brain and nervous system damage, learning disabilities, and impaired speech and hearing.
Children spend a lot of time at child care facilities and likely drink tap water and eat food prepared with water in these homes or buildings. In 2017, Illinois emerged as a leader in combating the risks of lead exposure in children by requiring schools and certain child care facilities to test their water for lead. If lead is found at 2.01 parts per billion or above, child care facilities are required to develop and implement a mitigation plan.
In addition to free lead in water testing, the LeadCare Illinois program offers educational training that covers topics such as lead testing standards, the health impact of lead, how to test water for lead, and ways to mitigate lead in drinking water.“LeadCare Illinois is an important step to help child care facilities meet state requirements,” said Anne Evens, CEO of Elevate Energy. “By providing free training and testing, child care providers can address lead in drinking water in an accessible and equitable way.”
“We provide education and support at every step of the way to make testing for lead in water a simple process for child care providers,” said Brian Cox, Program Manager at Illinois Department of Public Health.
To equitably service all Illinois child care providers, LeadCare Illinois offers bilingual education and support. All resources, call center support, and training will be available in both Spanish and English.
Funding is provided in whole or in part by the Illinois Department of Public Health. Elevate administers the LeadCare Illinois program in partnership with the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, Illinois Department of Public Health, and Illinois Action for Children.
Learn more about the program by visiting LeadCareIllinois.org or calling 312-300-7074.