Interview with Béatrice Mbazumutima, Director of Centre Éducatif Félix le Chat

What is your experience with Healthy Start?

It was a wonderful experience. The staff of the childcare centre are always supported by the Healthy Start team. They know that the team is available to provide more information when needed. The program has offers a variety of ideas and resources available to themfor the childcare staff. It has been helpful to receive new ideas for both indoor and outdoor physical activity. Recently, the center has received a bBooster session (Healthy Start site visit) to make sure that all the new staff is trained and to practice what they have learned at their workshop. Educators are therefore now more able to teach children about healthy eating and physical activity.provide guidance for children about nutrition and physical activity.

 

What are the successes of Healthy Start?

The training sessions the staff received were beneficial. They raised consciousnessbecame more aware of certain  on certain subjects. Staff efforts are now Efforts are more focused on the importance of moving more and the concepts of the Division of Responsibility in providing meals in the centre. It is easier to increase and support children’s interests aroundbout physical activity. We They saw a difference in the children’s concentration and attention skills. As time and variety of physical activity increased, the children were quieter, less irritated and more alert. Healthy Start offers a multitude of alternatives for young children to stay in motionbe active. As a result, the level of activity of educators has also increased. Taking the time to exchange share ideas between amongst staff educators has also been as beneficial. Several sharing of ideas proved to be very interesting.

 

Have you experienced any challenges?

Physical activities during the winter can be more complex. On the other hand, playing outside or in school hallways the installation of the external games inside the building has generated high interest form from the kids.

Sometimes exposure toacceptance of a new food can take a long time. Some children may refuse to try a new healthy meal the first few times of it being offered. The Ellyn Satter “Division of Responsibility” was the most difficult concept to implement.

 

Have parents been influenced by Healthy Start?

The parent handbook contains some Healthy Start concepts. The parents are also very busy, but they are often invited to participate in the educational sessions organized by the center.

Healthy Start is a hidden gem!

- Director (SK)