» Steps To Healthy Start

The following steps provide a snapshot of what is involved in a Healthy Start implementation.

Our commitment:

  • FREE training and resources to early learning and childcare centres, pre-kindergarten classes, and family centres; and
  • Ongoing support over the course of ten months.

Your commitment includes:

  • Attending a Healthy Start training;
  • Incorporating active play and healthy eating experiences into your daily routine and policies;
  • Communicating your successes and challenges with the Healthy Start team; and
  • Sharing Healthy Start with parents.

During the hands on Healthy Start training, you will learn:

  • about the importance of healthy eating and physical activity;
  • how to easily incorporate active play in the daily routine of early years children;
  • how to use and have fun with your new Healthy Start resources; and
  • how to address challenges to healthy eating or physical activity in your centre.

After the training, your centre will be fully equipped and ready to work with the Healthy Start approach.  We will provide you with these useful resources:

Equipped with training and resources, you will be ready to make healthy eating and physical activity a part of everyday learning in your centre or classroom.

Each centre and classroom will do things a little differently; however we suggest that everyone aims for the following goals:

  • Move more!  Provide opportunities for 180 minutes (3 hours) of structured and unstructured physical activity per day;
  • Help children develop fundamental movement skills (physical literacy) through games and activities;
  • Serve a variety of nutritious and appealing meals and snacks, with an emphasis on vegetables and fruit;
  • If children bring their food from home, encourage parents to provide nutritious food;
  • Create or update policies and procedures to reflect your commitment to healthy living; and
  • Tell us about your achievements – share your stories with us and with your parents.

You can use this Healthy Start Implementation Guide to help you achieve these goals.  The Guide suggests building on your strengths and engaging staff and parents in your commitment to the health of young children.  It is meant to lead directors through a process of:

  • Reviewing your current healthy eating and physical activity practices;
  • Setting goals for healthy changes;
  • Developing an action plan; and
  • Communicating with parents.

This Guide also provides information on physical activity and healthy eating and suggests additional resources.

Our aim is that the resources and vision of Healthy Start will be integrated into your everyday practices.  Healthy Start is committed to working with participating childcare centres and pre-kindergarten classes for approximately ten months.  However, after this time any and all of the resources we provided are yours to keep and use forever.

We would also like to be in touch with you a year after the end of our active partnership to see how you have maintained or adapted elements of Healthy Start.

Even after you have finished working with the Healthy Start team, we hope that you will continue to consult our website, our Facebook and Twitter page, and share our newsletters.

Each childcare centre that has participated in the training will have access to ongoing support from the Healthy Start Team.

Healthy Start coordinators are available to help answer questions or to connect you with resource people, such as nutritionists.  Contact us at: 1-855-653-7454 or send us a message through our Contact Us page.

We encourage participating childcare centres and pre-kindergarten classes to celebrate and share their commitment to the health of young children.  Healthy Start coordinators can help you to organise events such as a family fun day, where families are invited to try out fun activities and recipes with their children.  Celebrating is a way to recognize the good work being done in the centre/classroom and to encourage healthy living at home.

Your feedback is important to us.  Each centre that participates in Healthy Start will be invited to complete a short questionnaire to help us determine what works best and to continually improve our work.

Healthy Start should be part of the ECE training.

- Director (SK)