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Nemours to Lead National Initiative to Promote Healthy Lifestyles in Young Children in Child Care

Thursday, Sep 27, 2012


Let’s Move! Child Care is a nationwide call-to-action that empowers early care and education providers to make positive health changes in children.

Nemours, with the support of national and state public health and early care and education partners, received a five-year cooperative agreement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to support healthy lifestyles for young children in child care. The funding, $4.2 million in the first year, will be used to assist early care and education (ECE) providers in six states adopt nutrition, breastfeeding support, physical activity, and screen time policies and practices. 

Nemours has been an innovator in using a structured approach to training ECE providers adapted from the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s Breakthrough Series (BTS) model. Working with national and state partners, Nemours will build on this approach to positively impact children birth to age five nationwide. In the first year, Nemours will focus work in six states: Arizona, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, and New Jersey with the goal of reaching 84,500 children.

Key Facts
  • Childhood obesity is a widespread epidemic impacting many of the estimated 12 million children who spend time in ECE settings regularly.
  • More than a quarter (26.7%) of the children 2- to 5-years-old are overweight or obese.
  • Evidence-based research supports the need to provide healthy nutrition and physical activity environments for children at young ages.
  • Nemours is one of the nation’s leading child health organizations, with significant expertise and on the ground experience promoting healthy eating, physical activity and screen time reduction in the child care setting.
  • In 2009, Nemours partnered with the CDC to create Healthy Kids, Healthy Future (HKHF), a national movement to promote health and prevent obesity in children ages birth to five.
  • In 2011, Nemours partnered with First Lady Michelle Obama and public and private partners, when she launched Let’s Move! Child Care — a nationwide call-to-action that empowers early care and education providers to make positive health changes in children that could last a lifetime.
  • Builds on a proven learning collaborative model that has been tested and implemented by Nemours in Delaware, in partnership with community and state stakeholders, where child care providers have made significant and sustained changes in healthy eating and physical activity practices. This model was the basis for the Healthy Kids from Day One Act, legislation introduced by Senators Mark Udall (D-CO), Tom Carper (D-DE), and Chris Coons (D-DE).
  • The project begins in October 2012, and is expected to impact obesity prevention efforts in more than 840 ECE centers in the first year.
  • The project primarily focuses on helping ECE providers adopt nutrition, breastfeeding support, physical activity, and screen time policies and practices through a collaborative method where ECE centers send two to three representatives to participate in group learning and action planning, and have access to technical assistance, tools, materials, and resources to aid in their continuous improvement. Information is shared within and between teams to create progress.
  • This project uses a structured approach to train ECE providers to continuously make improvements to policy and practice changes in their program structure — incorporating healthy eating, physical activity, reduced screen time, and breastfeeding support into the daily routines, curriculum, family engagement, and activities of the child care setting. The approach is adapted from the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s Breakthrough Series (BTS) model, a proven model that has been implemented by Nemours since 2006. The project’s goal is to spread impactful, sustainable policy and practice changes to transform ECE programs in six states (Arizona, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, and New Jersey).
  • Teams of ECE providers will be trained through a combination of structured workshops, ongoing technical assistance, and access to tools, materials, resources, and curricula based on Let’s Move! Child Care and the Preventing Childhood Obesity, second edition standards.

“Early childhood educators are in a position to impact the healthy development of millions of young children by teaching them the importance of good nutrition and exercise. But they can’t do it alone. Nemours and our partners are committed to doing whatever it takes to support the early care and education community as they help raise the next generation of healthy Americans.”

David J. Bailey, MD, MBA, President & Chief Executive Officer, Nemours

“Reaching kids early is the key to combating childhood obesity. Providing early care and education providers with the tools they need to help families develop healthy habits will go a long way toward ensuring the long term health and wellness of children.”

Debbie I. Chang, MPH, Vice President, Policy & Prevention, Nemours

“Child Care Aware of America is committed to partnering with Nemours in its effort to improve the health of children in child care settings. Through utilization of our wide provider network and training infrastructure, Child Care Aware of America will work with Nemours to outreach to child care providers, engage families and make valuable connections that will impact young children nationwide. This work is essential to preventing childhood obesity.”

Ollie M. Smith, Interim Executive Director, Child Care Aware of America

  • National Initiative for Children’s Healthcare Quality (NICHQ)
  • American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)
  • Child Care Aware of America
  • National Association of Family Child Care (NAFCC)
  • American Heart Association (AHA)
  • National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care and Early Education (NRC)
  • Dr. Mary Story (University of Minnesota)
  • Dr. Dianne Ward (University of North Carolina)
  • American Public Human Services Association (APHSA)
  • Zero to Three
  • Association of State & Territorial Public Health Nutrition Directors (ASTPHND)
  • United States Breastfeeding Committee
  • Gretchen Swanson Center for Nutrition

About Nemours

Nemours is an internationally recognized children's health system that owns and operates the two free-standing children’s hospitals: the Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Del., and Nemours Children's Hospital in Orlando, Fla., along with outpatient facilities in five states, delivering pediatric primary, specialty and urgent care. Nemours also powers the world’s most-visited website for information on the health of children and teens,, and offers on-demand, online video patient visits through Nemours CareConnect. Nemours is a program dedicated to preventing reading failure in young children, grounded in Nemours’ understanding that child health and learning are inextricably linked, and that reading level is a strong predictor of adult health.

Established as The Nemours Foundation through the legacy and philanthropy of Alfred I. duPont, Nemours provides pediatric clinical care, research, education, advocacy and prevention programs to families in the communities it serves.