Statewide Health Improvement Partnership (SHIP)
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Child Care Training and Technical Assistance Report
Statewide Health Improvement Partnership (SHIP) Evaluation Study
Childhood obesity is a serious health and economic concern in Minnesota, putting children at risk of physical and psychosocial health problems, increasing their chance of becoming overweight or obese as adults, increasing direct medical costs, and disproportionately affecting children from lower income families and racial/ethnic minorities.1 Childhood obesity often starts even before children enter kindergarten: In Minnesota, 12.3 percent of low-income preschoolers were obese in 2014.2
Creating child care environments that support healthy habits is a critical strategy for preventing obesity among young children. The Minnesota Statewide Health Improvement Partnership (SHIP) provides training and technical assistance to child care providers to support the implementation of policy, systems, and environmental (PSE) changes in healthy eating, physical activity, and breastfeeding practices in programs where young children spend much of their time. This evaluation focused on family child care providers and small independent child care centers, which serve a disproportionate number of lower income and rural children and often lack access to formal training and resources on practices and policies regarding healthy eating, physical activity, and breastfeeding.3,4
The primary purpose of this evaluation was to assess the impact of SHIP's child care training and technical assistance strategy on the adoption and implementation of nationally recommended practices5 and written policies that promote healthy eating, physical activity, and breastfeeding in child care settings.
1Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Childhood Obesity Causes & Consequences. 2015; http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/childhood/causes.html. Accessed September 8, 2016.
1Pan L, Freedman DS, Sharma AJ, et al. Trends in Obesity Among Participants Ages 2-4 Years in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children-United States, 2000-2014. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. 2016;65(45):1256-1260.
3Chase R, Valorose J. Child Care Use in Minnesota: Report of the 2009 Statewide Household Child Care Survey. St. Paul, MN: Wilder Research;2010.
4Chase R, Valorose J. Child Care Workforce in Minnesota. St. Paul, MN: Wilder Research; 2012.
5American Academy of Pediatrics, American Public Health Association, National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care and Early Education. Caring for our Children, National Health and Safety Performance Standards: Guidelines for Early Care and Education Programs, 3rd Edition. Elk Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics; Washington, DC: American Public Health Association; 2011.