Healthy child care grows healthy kids. Denver’s Healthy Eating, Active Living (HEAL) in Child Care Program is a voluntary and free program, committed to supporting licensed child care providers in creating a healthy environment for children and staff.
Colorado’s childhood obesity rate is ranked 23rd in the nation and is rising faster than in any other state. Since children develop a large amount of eating and physical activity habits during the formative years, caregivers can play an important role in shaping the healthy habits that will follow children into adulthood.
HEAL in Child Care focuses on five key areas:
Once child care programs express interest in participation, the first step is scheduling an appointment. During the initial meeting, our program administrator goes through an assessment with child care staff to find out about their current practices. Based on this information, the program is given a personalized list of suggested healthy practices to implement.
The Culture of Wellness in Preschools (COWP) is a childhood obesity prevention program that supports evidence-based policy, system and environment changes to increase opportunities for students and staff to be physically active and eat healthy foods. HEAL in Child Care has partnered with this highly successful program to offer COWP’s facilitated action planning process to additional child care sites in Denver.
Resources available to participating child care programs include:
The following participating child care programs have implemented at least three new healthy polices, system or environmental changes at their sites:
1080 Learning Center, 1080 Kalamath St.
ABN Columbine Montessori, 131 W. 2nd Ave.
Annie Thomas, 3070 Glencoe St
Auraria Early Learning Center, 950 9th Street Park
Denver Child Care Center, 3151 W Florida Ave
Escuela de Guadalupe, 660 Julian Street
Greenlee Extended Day, 1150 Lipan Street
Home Away from Home, 3126 Gaylord St
Humble Beeginnings, 18981 Chaffee Pl.
Jane Rost, 1203 S. Patton Ct.
King Baptist Child Development Center, 3370 Ivy St
Mountain View Child Care Center, 3939 W Florida Ave
Open Door Ministires, 1567 Marion St
Paula’s Family Child Care, 1892 S Fairfax St
Denver Public Health & Environment is a member of the Metro Denver Partnership for Health, a collaboration among the public health agencies serving the seven-county Denver metropolitan region made up of Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, Douglas and Jefferson Counties. Nearly 3 million Coloradans, 60 percent of the state’s population, live in the Metro region. The Partnership collaborates with regional leaders in health care, human services, behavioral health, environment, philanthropy, education, business, local government and others to achieve its goals of advancing health equity across the region. In 2016, the Partnership identified four priority areas of focus including data sharing, healthy eating and active living, behavioral health, and partner alignment and formalized its approach to collaboration in the Metro Denver Partnership for Health Roadmap.