Eco-Healthy Child Care Certified

"It is the simple things of life that make living worthwhile, the sweet fundamental things
such as love and duty, work and rest, and living close to nature."
—Laura Ingalls Wilder

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Research increasingly shows that the first years of a child's life are critical to shaping their future health and development. As childcare providers, small changes that we make can have a big impact upon the children in our care. By reducing toxins, we are helping to prevent illnesses like asthma, certain learning disabilities, and even some forms of cancer.

Eco-Healthy Child Care certification is a national program that partners with child care professionals to eliminate or reduce environmental health hazards found within or around child care facilities. Wildflower Cottage has become one of only five certified programs in Durham.

Some of the steps we have taken to “go green:”

Pesticides and Pest Prevention

  • Using non-toxic techniques inside and outside the facility to prevent and control pests
  • Thorough washing of all fresh fruits and vegetables to avoid possible exposure to pesticides

Air Quality

  • Avoiding conditions that lead to excess moisture and maintaining adequate ventilation (to preclude the growth of mold and mildew)
  • Not allowing vehicles to idle in our parking areas
  • Avoiding manufactured air fresheners
  • Not allowing smoking on our premises at any time

Household Chemicals

  • Using biodegradable, non-toxic cleaning products and least-toxic disinfecting and sanitizing products
  • Using chlorine bleach only when and where it is recommended by state and local authorities
  • Avoiding aerosol sprays
  • Using only low-VOC household paints


  • Using only cold water for drinking and cooking
  • Keeping the building free of flaking or peeling paint and regularly washing all areas around doors and windows
  • Avoiding imported, old, or handmade pottery to cook, store, or serve food and drinks
  • Supplying a rough mat at the entrance of our facility to reduce possible exposure to lead-contaminated dirt
  • Checking our toys for lead


  • Using digital thermometers and thermostats, instead of those containing mercury
  • Securely storing and recycling all used batteries and fluorescent light bulbs

Furniture and Carpets

  • Ensuring that furniture, stuffed toys, matting, pillows, etc. are in good condition without foam or inside stuffing exposed
  • Avoiding professionally installed wall-to-wall carpeting in classrooms, to avoid possible exposure to flame retardants
  • Vacuuming daily and cleaning weekly all classroom area rugs

Art Supplies

  • Using only non-toxic art supplies approved by the Art and Creative Materials Institute

Plastics and Plastic Toys

  • Never heating children's food in plastic containers, plastic wrap, or plastic bags in microwaves
  • Selecting few plastic materials for children, and making every effort to assure that plastics are safe for play


  • Checking our facility with a radon-testing kit

Recycling and Garbage Storage

  • Recycling all paper, cardboard, glass, aluminum, and plastic bottles
  • Keeping our garbage covered at all times to avoid attracting pests and to minimize odors

Education and Awareness

  • Educating our families about eco-healthy practices
  • Involving children in composting, gardening, washing vegetables, and recycling
  • Primarily serving meals to children with washable dishes and utensils, rather than disposable


We are currently accepting applications to join our Waitlist. 

Please contact us to learn more.

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