The Early Care and Education setting is unique because children 0-5 years old spend an average of 31 hours per week in regulated care. There are over 170,000 Wisconsin children in regulated care. Additionally, healthy eating and physical activity habits form early in life. Thus, work in the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECE) system is important, and this section will provide you with ideas and resources to impact this key area.
Why Creating Healthy Childcare Environments Can Make a Difference
Early Care and Education Strategies (PDF, 224 KB)
View the objectives and full list of strategies for implementation in the Early Care and Education setting.
Key Strategies Overview:
- Increase supportive nutrition and physical activity environments in regulated childcare through state-level policy change.
- Improve the nutritional quality of meals and snacks served in regulated care settings.
- Increase physical activity levels of children in regulated care through structured, teacher-led and unstructured physical activity.
- Promote and sustain breastfeeding of infants in regulated care.
Success Story Video
Kids Depot Childcare Gets Moving (Madison, Wis.) This is a preschool that moves! Center staff at Kids Depot have found innovative ways to infuse physical activity throughout the day, even using transition times!
Select Early Care and Education Resources for ideas and materials to implement the key strategies, such as the Active Early and Healthy Bites Resource kits. Examples of resources include:
- Active Early
- Healthy Bites10
- Steps to Breastfeeding-Friendly Child Care Centers
- Got Dirt? Garden Toolkit
- Got Veggies? Garden-Based Nutrition Education Curriculum for Youth
- More than 170,000 Wisconsin children are in regulated care.¹
- Early childhood obesity dramatically increases a child's chances of becoming an obese adult and increases risk for many chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
- 31% of children ages 2-4 (participating in the Wisconsin WIC Program) are reported as being overweight or obese.
- Children in regulated care can spend upwards of two-thirds of their waking hours in the care of someone other than a parent.
¹ 2010 Wisconsin Census data and Wisconsin Department of Children and Families