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Alameda County, CA,
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Green Child Care Program

Photo of preschoolers holding up recycling guide.

Preschoolers are proud of a new recycling bin at the Kidango Amador Center in Hayward.

The Alameda County Early Care and Education Planning Council is fostering the next generation of environmental stewards through its Green Child Care Program. Working with the 2,400 child care and preschool programs in the County, with a focus on licensed child care centers, this program diverts hundreds of tons of waste from being sent to the landfill. The program was launched in 2011 after determining that seventy percent of a typical preschool's waste stream is reusable, recyclable, or compostable.

Through a partnership with StopWaste.Org and the Altamont Education Advisory Board, Climate Corps Fellows hosted by the Early Care and Education Program have been teaching diverse preschool staff and young children new and lifelong Reducing, Reusing, Recycling, and Rotting (RRRR) practices. These are already demonstrating cross-generational ripple effects for the children and their families.

As the only program of its kind in the nation, the Green Child Care Program is a model for providing technical assistance to child care centers in stewardship and environmental health and fostering our preschools as the next generation of environmental stewards.

Indicators of Success

In 2011-2019, the Program:

  • Diverted over 645 tons of landfill waste
  • Trained over 1,200 staff and teachers and over 6,250 children from 150 preschools and child care centers on recycling practices
  • Saved some centers $1,000 to $2,000 per year


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