Leveraging community-based partnerships to increase physical activity and nutrition in early childcare centers
INTRODUCTION: One in four children under the age of five are currently overweight/obese. Preschool-aged children who are overweight are five times more likely to be overweight during adolescence. As a response to the childhood obesity epidemic, the Broward Regional Health Planning Council, in collaboration with childcare improvement agencies (Family Central, and the ELC), a community organization focused on improving opportunities for physical activity in children and families (FLIPANY), and community-based consultants have developed a childcare facility-based intervention targeting nutrition and physical activity. METHODS: In an effort to establish an effective and sustainable intervention, 4 policies were developed (beverage, snack, physical activity, and screen time) consistent with Caring for Our Children standards. Program implementation consisted of technical assistance and training based on the results of a needs assessment. Intervention effectiveness was measured by Environment and Policy Assessment and Observation. RESULTS: During year one, 87 centers (caring for over 5,000 children) completed pre-needs assessments and were scored into two categories: Tier 1 (minimal improvements needed to meet standards) n=57.5%; and Tier 2 (significant improvements needed to reach standards) n=42.5% of centers. While post-data is currently being collected, teachers' reports reflected changes seen in childcare facilities' behaviors including: children eating healthier, doing more movement activities on the playground and engaging in sustained movement activities in the classroom. DISCUSSION: This program highlights the importance of community-based partnerships coming together to increase nutrition and physical activity in the early learning setting. This type of partnership is significant in making changes to the overall system.
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related public policy
Describe ways in which community-based partnerships can be leveraged to generate improvements in physical activity levels within early childcare centers.
Design community-based collaborations for making healthy system-wide changes in early childcare
Keyword(s): Obesity, Child Health Promotion
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have assisted in developing this health promotion program.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
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and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed
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