Let’s Move! Child Care
Guest blogger is Linda K. Smith, Deputy Assistant Secretary and Inter-Departmental Liaison for Early Childhood Development
Child care providers across the country are getting their children up and moving and off to a healthy start. They’ve enthusiastically adopted the recommendations of Let’s Move! Child Care (LMCC):
- Increasing physical activity
- Serving healthy foods
- Providing nutritious beverages
- Reducing time spent in front of TVs and computers
- Supporting parents’ choices regarding infant feeding.
Here are some of the innovative strategies they’ve adopted:
- Debbie Reid, a child care provider from Ready, Set, Grow Preschool & Childcare in Bountiful, UT, replaced TV time with dancing in her family child care program. Now when the children hear the music, they come running. (You can read more about Debbie’s story in a recent article in the Salt Lake Tribune.)
- In Plymouth, MA, South Shore Early Education developed a cooking class for parents, teaching them how to make nutritious and tasty meals on a budget. Children at the early childhood center visited local farms and then planted, tended, and eventually tasted the vegetables they grew in their own garden.
- The Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma made big changes to all its tribally-operated child care facilities. They incorporated natural elements into outdoor play spaces, created healthier menus, and increased the amount of time kids engage in active play. Over the last 2 years, a team of Cherokee child care trainers participated in I Am Moving, I Am Learning workshops and have gone on to train other tribal organizations.
States and territories have also embraced LMCC. As part of our Let’s Move! Child Care State Challenge, they have competed to have the greatest percentage of their providers registered for the effort and taking the online quiz. As of now, there are over 5,000 providers registered nationwide.
In upcoming weeks, there will be two other opportunities in which you might be able to support activities for LMCC. The first opportunity is Provider Appreciation Day, which will occur on May 11, 2012. The second opportunity is the LMCC One Year Anniversary Celebration, which is set to occur in June 2012. More information for those two opportunities will be provided on our website soon.
In addition, if you are a child care provider that has a success story of your own related to LMCC, please share it with us through our success story webpage. We can’t wait to hear more about what you are doing to encourage the lifetime habit of physical fitness and proper nutrition for the kids in your care.