Authored by Emily Cooke
Did you know that some very exciting things have been happening in our Early Childhood sector these past several months? Over the summer, Let’s Go! and the Maine Centers for Disease Control (CDC) came together to merge two of the main early childhood obesity prevention programs in the state, 5-2-1-0 Goes to Child Care (5-2-1-0 GTCC) and Nutrition and Physical Activity Self Assessment for Child Care (NAP SACC). We also used and adapted portions of the First Lady’s program, Let’s Move! Child Care as well. We worked together to create a single unified and comprehensive program for all of Maine’s child care providers that also ties them to rest of their community’s healthy eating and active living efforts.
Child Care providers who participate in 5-2-1-0 GTCC have some of the same awesome benefits they’ve always have:
- a consistent message that ties them to the rest of their community’s healthy eating and active living efforts (the 5-2-1-0 message)
- a comprehensive toolkit loaded with materials to use in the classroom, with parents and with staff (the 5-2-1-0 GTCC toolkit)
And now, since the collaboration, they also have the added benefits of:
- a comprehensive self-assessment (helps them judge where they fall with respect to a variety of practices affecting children from birth to age 5; adapted from the Let’s Move! Child Care Checklist)
- an evidenced-based process that takes them through a self-assessment, developing an action plan, completing continuing education workshops on relevant topics that help educate and motivate staff, and ongoing one-on-one technical assistance (adapted from the NAP SACC 5-step process).
One effort we are especially proud of is that providers not only receive licensing contact hours for completing the program workshops, but they are also eligible for contact hours as they complete the program steps (Self-assessment, Action Planning, and Evaluation). In fact, if a provider completes all the steps of the program and all of the workshops, they could earn 11 of the up to 30 hours they need for the entire year!
5-2-1-0 Goes to Child Care is stronger and more effective than ever thanks to incorporating portions of NAP SACC and Let’s Move! Child Care. And we couldn’t have done it without the collaboration we’ve had with the Maine CDC and the folks across the state representing the program – Healthy Maine Partnerships, folks from the health systems EMHS and MaineHealth, Community Transformation Grant Coordinators, and coordinators from large child care systems like KVCAP and Penquis. Right now, across the state we have about 350 child care programs enrolled who are benefiting! Like the title says, 5-2-1-0 Goes to Child Care is rockin’ it!