Find Out More
Learn more about the Alaska Alliance for Healthy Kids-ECE Workgroup, visit http://dhss.alaska.gov/dph/Chronic/Pages/Obesity/earlycare.aspx. To access the most up-to-date information and resources, sign up for the Alliance’s listserv. This project is supported by the State Public Health Actions to Prevent and Control Diabetes, Heart Disease, Obesity, and Associated Risk Factors and Promote School Health cooperative agreement (DP13-1305).
After identifying individual organizational strengths, challenges, and opportunities, the workgroup determined the greatest need for ECE providers was professional development on nutrition and physical activity policies. The workgroup helped 52 ECE providers and trainers identify their nutrition and physical activity goals and assess their readiness in implementing practices like serving a fruit or vegetable at every meal or providing water rather than sugary drinks. Additionally, the workgroup identified specific ECEs needing support in creating an action plan. Each ECE will receive technical assistance, funding, and resources to implement the changes.
Recently, the Alaska Alliance for Healthy Kids started reviewing the state licensing regulations and creating recommendations for changes that will help Alaska follow the Caring for Our Children: National Health and Safety Performance Standards; Guidelines for Early Care and Early Education Programs recommendations. Often, enacting policies to encourage physical activity and nutrition practices are not enough. ECEs will need support from multiple sources to implement policy changes. In the future, the workgroup will conduct trainings and provide support that will help ECE’s meet any new regulations. For now, having the workgroup allows many organizations to collaborate with other programs to help make child care environments healthier.