Active Early – By Cassy DeBauche, Early Childhood Consultant
Through the Active Early and Healthy Bites programs, Family & Childcare Resources of N.E.W. is working to increase healthy habits and reduce obesity in our community. This work is part of a statewide effort initiated by Wisconsin Early Childhood Obesity Prevention Initiative and Supporting Families Together Association.
Active Early & Healthy Bites have been developed as companion, Wisconsin-based resources for improving childhood physical activity and nutrition. Active Early aims to increase the amount of moderate to vigorous physical activity for young children, while Healthy Bites aims to support environments, practices and policies that promote nutrition
Active Early 2.0 was a three year long pilot program where our Early Childhood Technical Consultants worked with both a group center and family providers to increase the amount of physical activity and healthy meals served in their program. The goal of Active Early is for children to have 120 minutes of physical activity per day, 60 minutes of that being teacher led activities.
There are many long term benefits to starting healthy habits in early childhood including healthier adulthood with lowered risk of disease and reducing obesity. Childcare providers have found the short term benefits to increased activity are that the children are more focused and need less redirection.
The two programs which participated in the three year long project were Encompass-The Cornerstone Center (Group) and Erika Gutierrez (Family). Both participants have made huge strides in improving physical activity. Cassy DeBauche, Gina Linssen, and Jamie Tramte Brassfield were the technical consultants who worked with these programs through the project. They have shared both programs progress and focuses throughout the project. Both participants received a grant to purchase physical activity equipment and nutrition education materials to assist with the projects goals.
Encompass has made improvements in regards to staff wellness, incorporating more physical activity in the classroom through transitions, group time activities, outdoor play etc. They have also incorporated nutrition activities, healthy cooking projects and meals. Encompass also provided information to their parents about less screen time, healthier meals and food items, reading food labels, and activities to do with their children to improve physical activity. This center also is working on a garden project and hopes to incorporate vegetables from their garden into a nutritious family meal at harvest time.
Erika Gutierrez has made huge strides to incorporate 120 minutes of physical activity, incorporating teacher lead physical activities, serving healthy meals, teaching the children about nutrition, and less screen time. There were huge improvements made to the play space for the children with increased play equipment purchased through the grant.
We at Family & Childcare Resources of N.E.W. want to showcase the hard work and dedication made by Erika Gutierrez. She has put in a lot of time and effort in completing Active Early 2.0. Her hard work and dedication has made a real difference for the children and families in her program.
Check out the photos of the last technical visit so you can see for yourself the benefit of Active Early 2.0. The strategies learned are beneficial to the children, parents, teachers, directors, providers and technical consultants for years to come.
If you are interested in learning about physical activity or nutrition please contact Family & Childcare Resources of N.E.W. by e-mail email@example.com or 920-432-8899.
Funding for this project was provided by the UW School of Medicine and Public Health from the Wisconsin Partnership Program.
The Wisconsin Early Childhood Obesity Prevention Initiative (WECOPI) has spear-headed Active Early & Healthy Bites by conducting needs assessments, securing funds and designing, implementing and evaluating effective prevention strategies. WECOPI is composed of three Wisconsin State Departments: Health Services, Children and Families and Public Instructions, as well as other public and private partners.
Supporting Families Together Association (SFTA) is a non-profit organization funded by public and private entities to support and implement a variety of early childhood focused programs and services. As Wisconsin’s statewide member association for organizations and individuals committed to making every early childhood a great one, we envision an environment in which all children have the opportunity to reach their highest potential and all adults understand their role and responsibilities to children. Learn more about SFTA, our members, and our partners at www.supportingfamiliestogether.org.
Family & Childcare Resources of N.E.W is a 501 c3 non-profit organization dedicated to supporting healthy child development by providing high quality education, support and programs to families and early childhood professionals. This organization is located in Green Bay WI at 201 W Walnut St, Suite 100, zip 54303. Their phone is 920-432-8899 with email address of firstname.lastname@example.org. learn more about Family & Childcare Resources of N.E.W. at www.fcrnew.org .