253217 Active Early: Promoting Physical Activity in Wisconsin Child Care

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Susan Uttech, MS , Department of Health Services, State of Wisconsin, Madison, WI
Background: Nearly one-third of children ages 2-4 in Wisconsin are overweight or obese. Child care settings play an important role in influencing children's eating and activity habits because of the time children spend in out-of-home care. Active Early is a CDC-funded program working to improve the quantity and quality of PA in child care settings. Objectives: Active Early aims to provide low- and no-cost strategies and resources to 20 regulated child care sites to promote 120 minutes of teacher-led and unstructured PA throughout the child care day. Methods: PA environments and behaviors are assessed using the total PA score from the Environment and Policy Assessment and Observation (EPAO) tool and accelerometry at baseline (Fall 2010), mid-point (Spring 2011) and post-program (Fall 2011). Results: At baseline, child care centers with supportive environments (n=10, EPAO score ≥ 11.2) were observed to have more occasions of PA (5.4 vs. 3.0, p = 0.06) and minutes of teacher-led PA (39.3 min. vs. 22.6 min, p = 0.10) compared to centers with less supportive environments (n=10, EPAO score < 11.2). Moderate-vigorous activity levels of children (n = 235) was also higher among centers with supportive environments compared to less supportive environments (3.2% time vs. 1.9% time, p < 0.01) and was positively correlated with number of occasions of PA (r=0.21, p < 0.01). This trend continued at midpoint evaluations. Conclusions: Data supports previous research indicating child care centers can affect physical activity behaviors of children.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the impact of policy and environmental changes to implement 120 minutes of teacher-led and unstructured physical activity by providing low- or no-cost strategies and resources to 20 licensed child care sites (12 group and 8 family centers).

Keywords: Child Care, Obesity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I have conducted the evaluations, analyzed data, and produced recommendations based on findings from this program evaluation.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.