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Nutrition and Physical Activity Site-Specific Resources:
Early Care and Education (Early Childhood) Initiatives

Listed below are information and references to address physical activity and nutrition in the childcare setting.

Wisconsin children's future health and well being are directly related to the development and strengthening of their large and small muscles, involvement in sensory experiences, and practicing of healthy behavior. The Department of Health, Nutrition and Physical Activity Obesity Prevention Program supports the developmental expectation that children in Wisconsin will be physically healthy and will be able to effectively care for their own physical needs. This site contains information and tools to support childcare, preschool, Head Start, early childhood special education and four and five year old kindergarten programs to provide developmentally appropriate, increasingly complex and diverse opportunities for children to understand and care for their physical well-being.


State Plan Cover photo See what's in the 2013-2018 Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity State Plan for Early Care and Education.

What Works in Early Care and Education (Child care) (PDF, 207 KB) - A two-page summary of evidence-based and promising strategies that focus on helping preschool children eat healthier and be more active in the child care setting.  

The Active Early and Healthy Bites Resource Kits have been designed to provide resources for providers, parents, and educators to use in the efforts to reduce childhood obesity and children's risk for developing obesity by encouraging a healthy early care and education environment through targeting providers, parents and educators in Wisconsin. The resource kits are designed to provide low-cost, no cost strategies and resources to providers, parents, educators to promote physical activity and good nutrition in early childhood. It also seeks to educate providers, parents, and educators about the importance of healthy living to support positive role modeling and their individual wellness.

Active Early cover

Active Early - Complete Resource Kit (PDF, 8.4 MB) This kit focuses primarily on physical activity and has been developed to support a healthier environment for children in the Early Care and Education setting.  A Spanish version (PDF, 8.1 MB)is also available.  Links to specific chapters can be accessed below:

Healthy Bites Cover

Healthy Bites - Complete Resource Kit  (PDF, 5.3 MB) This kit focuses primarily on nutrition and has been developed to support a healthier environment for children in the Early Care and Education setting. A Spanish version is also available (PDF, 20.3 MB).  Links to specific chapters can be accessed below:


Assessment Tool List

  • Self-Assessment Instrument (exit DHS) - Links to a log-in for NAPSACC resources, including a self-assessment checklist for Childcare providers to see what the childcare setting is currently providing for nutrition and physical activity strategies.

Strategies List

Materials for Implementation

  • Got Dirt? is a program designed to assist with the implementation of school, community, and child care gardens. 

  • Got Veggies? is a garden-based nutrition education curriculum created with the goal of getting children to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables. Got Veggies? features seven full lesson plans that are aligned with Wisconsin's Model Academic Standards for Nutrition, Health, Science, and other related subjects.  A series of shorter garden-based activities are also included, as well as fun recipes and helpful tips for cooking and eating in the garden.  This curriculum provides an all around great way to nurture students’ interest in growing and eating fresh fruits and vegetables!

Evaluation Tools

See the Active Early and Healthy Bites resources for evaluation materials.

Related Tools

  • YoungStar (exit DHS) is a program of the Department of Children and Families created to improve the quality of child care for Wisconsin children by evaluating and rating the quality of care given by child care providers.
  • Institute of Medicine (exit DHS) - Early Childhood Obesity Prevention Policies - In this report, the IOM recommends actions that healthcare professionals, caregivers, and policymakers can take to prevent obesity in children five and younger.
  • Ten Steps to Breastfeeding Friendly Child Care Centers (PDF, 964 KB) - A resource kit to assist child care providers and community groups to implement strategies to promote, protect and support breastfeeding women.  Spanish Version (PDF, 6.8 MB)

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Last Updated: August 20, 2014