Surveillance of child day care-related infections (DCRI) is relatively new and methods are evolving. The objectives of surveillance for DCRI include evaluating the occurrence of DCRI; defining epidemiologic features and risk factors for DCRI; identifying practices resulting in transmission of DCRI; providing data and direction for education and training; promoting the efficacy of disease prevention and control programs; providing reassurance to counselors, employees, and the community; and meeting requirements of regulatory and accrediting agencies. An overview is presented of the process and of mechanisms suggested for implementation. The process includes defining the infections, identifying resources, establishing methods for conducting continuous surveillance, consolidating and tabulating data, reviewing and analyzing data, reporting disease and disseminating data, and reinforcing policies for staff and parents. An effective system is one that is applied consistently, is based in large part on common sense and simplicity, and enhances communication among child day care providers, children, parents, and public and private health care personnel.
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