Fun Time Child Care Keeps Kids Healthy
As a family child care owner for over 25 years in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Anna Mae Guille provides care for up to 6 kids at any given time at Fun Time Child Care. The health of the children she works with is at the forefront of her focus as a provider: she has been a long-time provider of the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) and participates in the Let’s Move! Child Care (LMCC) initiative. Anna Mae believes in the benefits of participating in both CACFP and LMCC to help combat childhood obesity with kids in her care and to help her as a provider.
As a busy family child care provider who believes that kids in her care should be healthy, Anna Mae always looks for easy-to-make healthy meals and physical activities that are low or no-cost.
“CACFP provides an easy guideline for me to prepare healthy meals,” says Anna Mae. “I can use the guide that CACFP provides or I can create my own meals from the examples knowing that I will still be providing healthy meals for my kids.”
Anna Mae also understands that children need to be active and uses the LMCC website resources to get ideas. “I really increased physical activity since the launch of LMCC,” says Anna Mae. “The kids are learning yoga and gardening, getting 60 to 120 minutes of outdoor play most days and I have a child-size exercise bike and treadmill for rainy days.” Anna Mae also uses the Let’s Move Calendar as an easy way for her kids to track their physical activity.
“It’s not a financial burden to participate in CACFP and LMCC,” says Anna Mae. “As a CACFP provider, CACFP helps to offset the cost of meals for me and parents. I can provide healthy meals during the day and parents don’t have to worry about packing meals. Participating in LMCC also gives me ideas to engage my kids in physical activities that I might not have thought of on my own.”
In addition, this past year Anna Mae received a CACFP wellness mini grant from her state with the help of her CACFP Sponsor. Anna Mae has used the grant to continue her efforts to improve nutrition and increase the physical activity of kids in her care. Her efforts support the goals of LMCC. “It’s a win-win situation to participate in both because it benefits not just the kids, but the parents and the provider as well,” says Anna Mae.
Other child care providers who want to integrate more healthy options into their programs have lots of options:
Become a CACFP provider. CACFP providers provide nutritious meals and snacks to kids as part of their care. Find out if you are eligible to become a CACFP provider through your state agency contact here: CACFP State Contact.
Already a CACFP provider? Connect with your CACFP sponsor for more resources. CACFP sponsors can provide education, support and additional resources to CACFP providers. For example, The National CACFP Sponsors Association (NCA) has partnered with LMCC to offer CACFP sponsors that are members of NCA training and resources such menu planning guides and tip sheets for providers and families.
Sign-up for LMCC. Joining LMCC is easy. You can sign up on the website and download free materials to help get your kids moving and eating healthy.