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Healthy Child Care Settings

Helping children establish healthy habits

Fact Sheet
Child Care & Schools

In a twenty-year period, obesity rates among US infants, toddlers, and preschool aged children have approximately doubled.

More than 1 in 5 US children ages 2 – 5 are overweight or obese. These statistics are especially alarming, considering that most overweight or obese preschoolers are 5 times for likely to become overweight or obese adults.

Child care settings play a key role in helping children establish healthy habits that will last a lifetime. All children deserve to grow, learn, and play in healthy environments that:

  • offer nutritious foods and establish healthy eating habits
  • provide safe and appropriate activities
  • support learning and proper brain development
  • establish healthy eating habits
  • strengthen motor skills and provide opportunities for physical activities

While parents, guardians, and families have tremendous influence in all these areas, many children spend most of their waking hours, eat more of their meals, and participate in more physical activity while cared for by someone other than their primary caregiver or parent. Consequently, child care providers have a major influence on children’s health.

Policies that Support Breastfeeding in Child Care Facilities, created in partnership with Child Care Aware, provides a scan of institutional and public policies that make it easier for mothers to continue breastfeeding while an infant is in regular child care.