Nearly 1,200 child care programs in 10 states have improved their healthy eating and physical activity standards after participating in Nemours Children’s Health System’s National Early Care and Education Learning Collaboratives (NECELC) project. Read on to learn more about the study and its findings.
The 10-State Program is a CDC-funded collaborative and is the largest of its kind to promote children’s healthy eating and physical activity. The NECELC project was a multi-sector approach to embed best practices in healthy eating and physical activity in early care and education (ECE) settings. Researchers said the six-year project was important because 13 million children spend time in ECE, and more than one of eight children (14%) ages 2 to 5 has obesity. The best practices focus on five areas: infant feeding, child nutrition, physical activity, outdoor play and learning, and screen time.
The program reached children in Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, New Jersey and Virginia. While Nemours provided guidance and direction regarding implementation, each state’s designated implementing partner had flexibility for tailoring the model at the state, local, and program level to have the biggest impact.
The results, published in the journal Preventing Chronic Disease, show that a collaborative intervention among a health care system, state-level partners, and early care and education programs increased the number of best practices being met related to breastfeeding and infant feeding, child nutrition, infant and child physical activity, screen time, and outdoor play and learning in early care and education settings in 10 states.
The full study can be accessed here.