The majority of U.S. children are placed in some form of non-parental care during their preschool years, in arrangements such as child-care centers and family child-care homes, preschools, and Head Start programs. These early care and education settings provide numerous opportunities to promote healthy eating at a young age, when dietary habits are forming. Compared to research regarding schools, there has been limited research to date about federal, state, and local policies and practices that affect food choices or offerings in these settings. This research aims to identify policy and environmental changes for the child-care and preschool settings that can help prevent childhood obesity.
of kids under 5 participate in early childhood education programs
Child Care & Preschool
Research & Publications
Early Care and Education Policies and Programs to Support Healthy Eating and Physical Activity: Best Practices and Changes Over Time. Research Review: 2010-2016
Over the last six years, efforts to strengthen policies, systems, and environments to promote health and prevent obesity have become more robust and widespread. These efforts include updates to federal policies and programs, state regulations, local policies, and evidence-based guidance. The goal of the current research review is to provide … More
This cross-sectional study reviewed infant feeding regulations for all U.S. states for child care centers and family child care homes, then compared the regulations with ten national standards and also assessed the number of new regulations consistent with these standards since a previous review conducted in 2008. The 2008 review … More
In this systematic review, investigators expand on previous reviews of obesity prevention interventions by including recent studies from all parts of the world. School-based interventions with combined diet and physical activity components and a home element had greatest effectiveness; evidence in support of the effect of preschool-based, community-based, and home-based … More
What Can Be Learned from Existing Investigations of Weight-Related Practices and Policies with the Potential to Impact Disparities in US Child-Care Settings? A Narrative Review and Call for Surveillance and Evaluation Efforts.
Child-care settings and the combination of policies and regulations under which they operate may reduce or perpetuate disparities in weight-related health, depending on the environmental supports they provide for healthy eating and physical activity. The objectives of this review are to summarize research on state and local policies relevant to weight-related … More