Early Childhood
Healthy Kids
Martha Hiett
Health Policy Administrator
Division of Child Care and Early Childhood Education
Early Childhood: Critical to
Growing Healthy Communities!
• More children are in child care programs that
ever before.
• The potential for successfully addressing
childhood obesity in child care settings is
• Early childhood is an important period for
developing good nutrition and physical activity
• Practices of child care facilities can improve
children’s diet and exercise.
Childhood obesity remains a pressing public health concern.
Over the past three decades, obesity rates have nearly tripled for
children ages 2 to 5.
Unhealthy weight leads to chronic health problems/issues such as
diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and others, even in younger
Overweight 2 to 5 year olds are more than four times as likely to become
overweight adults as their normal weight peers.
According to the statewide BMI assessment process, in 2007-2008
approximately 35% of the children in Arkansas entered school
overweight or at risk of overweight.
Teaching healthy lifestyles at a young age helps insure healthy lifestyles
in adulthood.
More on Why Child Care Programs
Should Be Involved
Currently, Arkansas has 2881 licensed child care programs throughout
the state.
These programs serve approximately 200,000 children.
Licensed programs include center-based, family child care homes,
ABC/Pre K (for 3 and 4 year olds), and Head Start.
ABC/Pre K Programs expect to serve around 25,000 children this year.
Every community has at least one child care program, and most of you
have ABC/Pre K Programs operated by the school district.
One study shows that children of this generation may be the first to have
a shorter life expectancy than their parents.
Division of Child Care and Early
Childhood Education
We are committed to helping address obesity in
young children and improving the health of the
next generations and are currently involved in
several health related programs and activities.
Showing those programs in action would be nice
The Nutrition and Physical Activity Self
Assessment for Child Care Project
Goal: to promote healthy eating and
physical activity in young children
in child care and preschool settings.
NAP SACC - Overview
• Intervention program
aimed at improving
nutrition and PA
environment, practices
and policies in child care
facilities in order to
facilitate healthy weight
behaviors in young
In 2006-2007, five schoolbased ABC Programs
helped implement NAP
SACC in Arkansas.
Four additional sites
implemented NAP SACC in
What Programs said about NAP
“The training was helpful and provided
assistance to “non health professionals”
on how to develop plans to improve the
health of students.”
“The nutrition components helped parents
and children select better snacks.”
“NAP SACC was useful in determining the
nutrition and physical activity needs of the
“Participating in ECHI/NAP SACC helped
plant “seeds for the future.”
What’s Happening Now?
• Currently, 40 sites throughout the
state are implementing NAP SACC.
• Fit Kids training is now offered with
NAP SACC training.
• Fit Kids is an innovative program
which provides helpful information
to help plan regular physical activity
and nutrition education experiences
for children in child care.
What Can You Do?
• Make sure you include child care programs and young children in
your community efforts.
• Consider implementing NAP SACC and Fit Kids in your
• Link with child care providers in your community to improve
communication and nutrition and physical activity for children and
families served by child care programs.
• Be an advocate for early intervention and the health of young
• Remember that child care offers an abundance of opportunities to
interact with parents and families.
• Keep up all of your good work!
Additional Resources
Team Nutrition; Eat Smart, Play Hard;
Food Guide Pyramid
• a program
that teaches preschoolers good health
Final Thought
• A thought which does not result in an
action is nothing much, and an action
which does not proceed from a thought
is nothing at all.
Georges Bernanos
• Thanks!
• Contact information: Martha.hiett or 501-683-0976