Pam Borchardt, NCBF

Pam Borchardt is a Master Trainer, Childcare Educator and offers a variety of workshops.  As the former Executive Director for SIDS of Illinois she was instrumental in the passage of the Childcare Licensing laws requiring providers to have education on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID) and Safe Sleep. Ms. Borchardt was the original creator of the first national Train the Trainer SIDS educational program for childcare providers. In addition to her 15 years of training, Pam is also a Bereavement Facilitator who has facilitated support groups for families who have suffered the loss of an infant. She is also a graduate of Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Management.  Her workshops are in demand on a state and national level with a large variety of professionals participating.

Pam Borchardt

Meet Pam...

Pam Borchardt

I am a Management Executive who has spent a lot of my corporate life training employees.  I found that I had a natural aptitude for training and enjoyed it immensely. In 1991, I became active in SIDS organizations as both a volunteer and a professional after the death of my daughter, Becky.   At that time, very little was known about Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.  It was something that every parent was frightened of, but knew little about. Most of my early involvement was focused on offering emotional support for newly bereaved families.   

As a bereaved parent, I was invited to speak to healthcare professionals and first responders about the trauma of an infant death from the parent’s perspective. But, in 1995 after the break through of research identifying risk factors for SIDS, I became active writing and creating educational programs for parents in an effort to reduce infant mortality through education, parental and caregiver behavior change. 

After years of educating healthcare professionals and parents, I began to wonder if anyone was talking to childcare providers about these behavior changes that we were recommending. My daughter had died in childcare. I never blamed my provider for my daughter’s death. She didn’t do anything that I wasn’t doing at the time. Also, I became aware that childcare providers were leaving the profession or refusing to care for infants because they were frightened that it could happen to a baby in their care.

As a working mother of three, I knew how hard it was to find good care for infants. It made sense to me that we couldn’t lose our best providers because they were frightened of SIDS. So, with the support of the National SIDS Alliance and my friend, Nancy Maruyama, I co-authored the first ever national train the trainer workshop for childcare professionals.

I began to train childcare providers throughout Illinois and the rest of the country. The American Academy of Pediatrics adopted our training program. Through the years, I became an expert on SIDS in childcare and the Executive Director for SIDS of Illinois. In that role, I began to work with the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) to improve childcare licensing in Illinois.

Pam Borchardt
Illinois Governor Quinn signs Childcare Bill into law with Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia and Pam Borchardt

Effective January 2011, prospective Childcare Providers must have a SIDS class prior to applying for their license.  Effective January 2012, a new Childcare bill mandates that the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services require licensed child care providers to be trained every three years on the nature of sudden unexpected infant death (SUID), Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and the safe sleep recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

And the rest, is history.  I have trained more than 70,000 childcare providers and developed a number of different educational programs on both grief and infant death.

Now, as the former Executive Director of SIDS, I have refocused on educating parents and providers. Through education, I strive to increase awareness of the risks to infants in their micro-environment and to change parenting behavior to follow the American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines for safe sleep for infants.

I have great respect for the difficult work that childcare providers do every day. I am happy to share the tools to help providers care for infants safely. I am proud of the advances that we have made in reducing infant deaths in the last 20 years. I am happy to say that to my knowledge, no childcare provider that I have educated has experienced the death of an infant while in her care.