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New York State Office of Children and Family Services to Donate 22,000 Pack ‘n Play Cribs to Child Care Providers to Promote Safe Sleep for Babies

The New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) today announced that it will use money from the federal Child Care and Development Fund to provide more than 22,000 Pack ‘n Play cribs to home-based day care providers statewide. Legally-exempt, family child care, and group family child care programs across New York State are each eligible for one crib. The safe sleep Pack ‘n Plays are being given free of charge.

Each year in the United States, nearly 3,500 infants die in unsafe sleep environments. OCFS is providing the Pack ‘n Play cribs to promote safe sleep practices for our youngest New Yorkers. All child care providers should follow the ABCs of safe sleep: babies are safest sleeping Alone on their Backs in a Crib with a tight fitted sheet, nothing else and no one else.

“Every person who cares for an infant under one year of age should know the ABCs of safe sleep. Babies must be: Alone on their Backs in a Crib with no blankets, bumpers, or stuffed animals,” said OCFS Commissioner Sheila J. Poole. “Caregivers should never place unnecessary items around infants in their care and should never have multiple infants in a single crib.”

“When parents entrust their infant’s care to a provider, they deserve peace of mind,” said Deputy Commissioner of the Division of Child Care Services Janice Molnar. “New York works closely with child care providers to keep children safe, and through this initiative, every home-based child care program can have a crib for children under one year of age.”

“The tragic and heartbreaking death of an infant due to unsafe sleep practices is avoidable with proper education and resources,” said Deputy Commissioner of the Division of Child Welfare and Community Services Lisa Ghartey-Ogundimu. “It is our hope that, through these initiatives, child care providers will learn about Safe Sleep and implement the practices in their homes to keep children safe.”

The Pack ‘n Play giveaway complements other state efforts to educate parents, grandparents, and caregivers about sleep safety, including broadcasting safe sleep public service announcements at New York State Thruway rest stops; Department of Motor Vehicles offices; Woman, Infants, and Children centers; and other public settings. OCFS is also giving away 10,000 Safe Sleep Kits that contain an infant safe sleep sack, book, window cling, and door hanger.

New York State has seen a 26% decrease in infant mortality over the past 15 years. Educational campaigns, such as this initiative, help the state build upon the success of promoting safe sleep.

Information on how to request a crib and more on safe sleep is available on the OCFS website.