Start Date: September 2011

ID #: 69301

Principal Investigator: Temitope Erinosho, PhD, MS

Organization: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Funding Round: New Connections Round 5

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Prior research evaluating children’s diets and physical activity report the need for improvements to ensure their daily nutrition and activity needs are met while in child-care settings. Limited research has examined nutrition and physical activity policies of child-care programs. This study will evaluate the quality of these policies in relation to observed practices, staff awareness of policies, and strategies for implementing and enforcing policies at child-care centers. The specific aims of this study are to: 1) evaluate the presence/absence of nutrition, physical activity, and screen time policies related to childhood obesity prevention in child-care centers, and the extent to which formal policy statements address these practices; 2) evaluate nutrition, physical activity and screen time practices in relation to center-level policies; and 3) assess staff’s awareness of policies and center-level strategies for implementing and enforcing policies. Crosssectional data will be collected from 50 licensed child-care centers in North Carolina that enroll preschool-aged children, including Head Start and other centers serving predominantly ethnic minorities and lower-income children. Investigators will conduct interviews with center directors, administer surveys to preschool classroom teachers, review center policy documents and conduct direct observations of center practices. Findings will help researchers better understand the role of policy in child-care practice, and guide the development and implementation of new policies to prevent childhood obesity.

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