Celebrating Excellence in Childcare
Be recognized for excellence in supporting physical activity and nutrition in childcare.
Apply to be an MDH Childcare Champion, and if selected, you will be recognized for excellence in supporting physical activity and nutrition in childcare.
We believe children deserve the chance to grow up healthy. Early childhood is a time when children develop healthy eating and physical activity habits.
Development of healthy habits does not only happen at home. In Minnesota, 69% of infants and toddlers and 82% of 3- to 5-year-olds attend childcare regularly, spending on average 27 to 31 hours per week there.1 This makes childcare a perfect location to get children eating healthy and being active.
The Minnesota Department of Health recognizes childcare centers and homes that have demonstrated a commitment to giving children the chance to grow up healthy by meeting best practice standards in nutrition, breastfeeding, physical activity, and screen time reduction.
How to Apply
Applicants can apply for Bronze, Silver or Gold designation depending on the number of benchmarks completed in each category.
This table shows the minimum number of benchmarks in each category that need to be met to reach each level:
|Policy, Systems, and Environment (PSE)
Applicants can use one of the following methods to apply for recognition:
- Complete the online application: Childcare Recognition Application
This online form must be completed on a computer. The form is not compatible with mobile browsers.
- Complete the PDF application: Physical Activity and Nutrition (PAN) Excellence in Childcare Recognition Program for Childcare Centers and Homes (PDF)
- Email the completed form to firstname.lastname@example.org or
- Print the completed form and mail it to: Minnesota Department of Health, Attention: Office of Statewide Health Improvement Initiatives, 625 Robert St. N., Saint Paul, Minnesota 55155
Applications will be reviewed twice a year on June 15 and December 15.
Childcare providers that satisfy the criteria will receive:
- A certificate to display.
- Window clings.
- An electronic badge to display on the provider’s social media page or website.
- Recognition on the MDH website.
- Chase, R, Valorose, J. Child Care Use in Minnesota: Report of the 2009 Statewide Household Child Care Survey. St. Paul, MN: Wilder Research; 2010.