June 8, 2010
Washington, D.C. -- A study conducted by the nonprofit health research organization Altarum Institute suggests that Delaware’s first-in-the-nation guidelines for nutrition and physical activity in child care are broadly accepted by both child care providers and parents, and that challenges to implementing the policies can be overcome with support.
The study was conducted by Altarum as a part of its Childhood Obesity Prevention Mission Project, in partnership with Nemours Health and Prevention Services (www.nemours.org) and Delaware’s Child and Adult Food Care Program and Office of Child Care Licensing.
“Delaware has taken a leadership role in the nation’s efforts to combat childhood obesity by promoting healthy behaviors in child care settings,” said Altarum’s Vivian Gabor, who conducted the research. “This report documents how parents and providers have largely embraced these efforts and identifies ways the continued partnership between state agencies and groups like Nemours can foster the critically important engagement of both parents and providers.”
Some key findings of the study include:
- Providers and parents understand and embrace requirements that child care providers serve healthier food and ensure that children are active;
- Providers are developing and using innovative strategies to implement the standards into daily practice;
- Implementation challenges are frequently related to limited available resources; and
- Providers need additional training, technical assistance and tools to fully implement the standards.
“Nemours is encouraged by the creativity and enthusiasm child care providers have demonstrated as they go about applying the new standards. We believe that the improvements in standards must be coupled with practical tools and training,” said Debbie I. Chang, Vice President for Policy and Prevention at Nemours. “This research also underscores the need for a substantial investment in training that is now being considered in Congress as part of the reauthorization of the federal nutrition programs.”
The study’s findings summarize perspectives of child care providers and parents from across Delaware, but its recommendations may be useful to other cities and states looking to combat childhood obesity through changes to child care policies.
The study comes at an important time in federal policy-making. The action plan released recently from the White House Task Force on Childhood Obesity calls for early childhood prevention efforts, and Congress is also preparing to reauthorize federal nutrition programs.
The full report is available online at http://www.altarum.org/publications-resources-health-systems-research/CHOMP-Delware-Focus-Group-Report.
Contact InformationJeff Moore
Altarum Institute (www.altarum.org) integrates objective research and client-centered consulting skills to deliver comprehensive, systems-based solutions that improve health and health care. A nonprofit serving clients in the public and private sectors, Altarum employs more than 400 individuals and is headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan with additional offices in the Washington, DC area; Sacramento, California; Atlanta, Georgia; Portland, Maine; and San Antonio, Texas.