A Child Wellness Program of the Alabama Partnership for Children

Alabama Healthy Kids, Healthy Future

Alabama Healthy Kids, Healthy Future

In the state of Alabama, the rate of obesity in 2020 was 39%, one of the highest rates of obesity in the United States (CDC, 2020). While obesity is caused by many factors, quality nutrition and physical activity can reduce the likelihood of developing chronic health conditions later in life. Focusing on the early care and education setting for adopting healthy habits has shown to be effective in promoting healthy eating and physical activity. 

Alabama Healthy Kids, Healthy Future is a health promotion program under the Alabama Partnership for Children with the mission to ensure all young children in child care have a healthy start in life. Through our program, we provide trainings, resources, and opportunities to child care programs throughout the state of Alabama. We also partner with stakeholders to impact state systems changes that ensure all children in child care have equitable access to healthy choices. 

What is Child Health & Wellness?

The APC understands the importance of health and wellness in early childhood and continuously works with partners on implementing statewide obesity prevention strategies. Recent efforts of the APC include facilitating the Early Care and Education Learning Collaborative (ECELC), participating in Healthy Child Care, Healthy Communities, and taking part in the Nemours Healthy Kids Healthy Future Technical Assistance Program.

 

Learn more about obesity prevention strategies in early care and education settings.

Early Care & Education Learning Collaborative

From 2015-2018, the APC served as an implementation partner for the National Early Care and Education Learning Collaboratives (ECELC) program managed by Nemours and funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The APC has identified and targeted areas with high rates of obesity for this program, and has (with several partners) trained 106 Early Care and Education (ECE) providers, center- and home-based programs, on how to implement strategies to create environments that foster healthy growth and development. This is a comprehensive approach that focuses primarily on topics related to making changes in physical activity and nutrition policies and procedures. These strategies include in-person trainings on nutrition, physical activity, breastfeeding and limited screen time, as well as customized technical assistance to help ECE providers to meet their goals. Through this program, there are many opportunities for providers to network and discuss their goals with each other, and numerous resources and materials are shared with participants.

During 2019, the APC is expanding the reach of the ECELC, made possible by generous support from DHR, by developing new collaboratives to target the Mobile and Montgomery regions where there are high obesity rates. We are also continuing to engage and provide support to ECE providers in the regions surrounding Tuscaloosa and Jefferson Counties where the APC has formerly provided support, as well as expanding to the Opelika area through a modified version of this program through Nemours’ Healthy Kids, Healthy Future Technical Assistance Program.

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Online Go NAPSACC Program

The APC has been awarded a two-year license to implement the online Go NAPSACC Program (Nutrition and Physical Activity Self-Assessment for Child Care) in Alabama. Go NAPSACC is a tool for child care providers to use for assessing their program environment, creating action plans, and implementing changes to meet best practices in multiple areas of child health. All child care programs in Alabama can participate in this online self-assessment and action-planning tool to support the implementation of healthy environments for young children.  

The Areas of Child Health include:  

  • Child Nutrition  
  • Breastfeeding and Infant Feeding  
  • Infant and Child Physical Activity  
  • Outdoor Play and Learning  
  • Screen Time  
  • Farm to ECE  
  • Oral Health 

Over 20,000 children (about the seating capacity of Madison Square Garden!) have been impacted by Go NAPSACC in Alabama.

During 2019, the APC is expanding the reach of the ECELC, made possible by generous support from DHR, by developing new collaboratives to target the Mobile and Montgomery regions where there are high obesity rates. We are also continuing to engage and provide support to ECE providers in the regions surrounding Tuscaloosa and Jefferson Counties where the APC has formerly provided support, as well as expanding to the Opelika area through a modified version of this program through Nemours’ Healthy Kids, Healthy Future Technical Assistance Program.

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The APC is a strong supporter of the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) and recognizes the importance of full utilization of the program in Alabama amongst Early Care and Education providers. The APC sees CACFP as a necessary tool to combat child hunger and food insecurity, especially for our youngest and most vulnerable population. We know that child care providers have a powerful impact on children ages zero to five in helping them develop healthy eating habits, and participation in CACFP places ECE programs in a better position to create healthier eating environments and menus. 

Active Play Summit for Child Care Champions
with Special Guest Diane Craft

Save the Date: September 21, 2024

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Child Health & Nutrition
1-866-711-4025

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