Washington Improves Early Childcare Environments!

December 11, 2018
in Early Care

Congratulations to Washington State for making early childhood education environments healthier through stronger nutrition, physical activity, and screen time standards!  For over two years, the Childhood Obesity Prevention Coalition, American Heart Association, and other advocates worked with the Department of Children, Youth and Families (formerly the Department of Early Learning) to update health and safety licensing requirements for family-home and center-based child care settings in the state. The standards, which were finalized this summer, include:

 

  • Nutrition: Meals must meet USDA standard, sugary drinks may not be offered only unflavored milk can be served, a fruit or vegetable must be included during at least one snack each day, water must be readily available, and breastfeeding mothers must be accommodated and supported.
  • Physical Activity: Early childhood education programs must offer a minimum amount of daily physical activity – specified to a child’s age and program length – that must include time outdoors and also a mixture of activities.
  • Screen Time: Screen time is limited for kids over 2 years old.

 

The final licensing standards for early learning programs released by the Department of Children, Youth and Families make significant progress in closing the gap between nationally-recognized standards and the previous requirements in Washington. Congratulations to the Childhood Obesity Prevention Coalition, American Heart Association Washington team, and to all advocates who are working to make each day healthier for all children!

 

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