Alaska Crib Swap

The Alaska Community Foundation (ACF) has partnered with thread to launch the Alaska Crib Swap as part of thread’s “Safe Sleep for Alaska’s Babies” campaign. The Alaska Crib Swap is a fundraising program to replace existing cribs in licensed child care homes and centers across Alaska with new cribs that meet federal safety standards. All donations will be matched by ACF dollar for dollar.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has previously warned parents and child care centers alike to the dangers of drop-side cribs. From 2005 to 2010, the commission announced 11 recalls involving more than 7 million drop-side cribs due to suffocation and strangulation hazards created by the drop side. The commission is aware of 32 infant and toddler suffocation and strangulation deaths and hundreds of incidents caused by, or related to, drop-side detachments in cribs between the years 2000 and 2010.

As a result, new federal standards on crib safety are taking effect, now requiring all child care centers and programs to replace old cribs with new, safer ones. Child care facilities across the state have a Dec. 28, 2012 deadline to replace existing unsafe cribs. In Alaska, more than 4,000 infants and toddlers are placed in cribs at child care centers or programs and hundreds of these programs still use drop-side cribs. The Alaska Community Foundation hopes to raise the funds necessary to help these communities meet the new safety standards.

“It costs real time and money for child care programs to replace this many unsafe cribs, and frankly, new cribs are often not even directly available in our rural communities,” said Candace Winkler, president and CEO of ACF. “We’re trying to help these communities comply with federal regulations and, more importantly, provide a safe place for Alaska’s babies to sleep.” The foundation’s main focus with the Alaska Crib Swap is to help thread raise funds for the new cribs.

thread, through the “Safe Sleep for Alaska’s Babies” campaign, will provide information and training for early educators and have available the applications for licensed child care programs to receive the new cribs. “What could be more important than creating safe sleep environments for Alaska’s babies,” asks Stephanie Berglund, thread’s Chief Executive Officer. “By replacing a crib for a crib in each child care program, we are hoping to support safe sleep for over 4,000 infants and toddlers who are cared for in Licensed Child Care programs throughout the state.”

ACF is currently collecting donations and the campaign will run through the end of the year. More information on the Alaska Crib Swap can be found here. Donations received to the Alaska Crib Swap Fund will help to ensure that Alaska’s babies are sleeping safely.

Application information for child care programs is available through thread. Learn more about crib safety and new federal safety standards at