Healthy Start is aimed at childcare centres or homes, prekindergarten or preschool programs, Aboriginal Head Start programs, or any early childhood setting. The following steps provide a snapshot of the Healthy Start program.
- Free training and resources to early learning programs;
- Ongoing support over the course of ten months
Your commitment includes:
- Attending a Healthy Start training, either on-line or in person;
- 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 Healthy Start training, you will learn:
- About the importance of healthy eating and physical activity;
- How to easily incorporate active play and healthy eating into 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
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:
- The Healthy Start Implementation Guide
- HOPTM and Food FlairTM (LEAP manuals)
- Healthy Start APE Kit (Active Play Equipment)
For more information, visit Get Trained
- Equipped with training and resources, you will be ready to make healthy eating and physical activity a part of everyday learning in your environment.
- All participants will do things a little differently; 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
- Share your stories with us and with your parents.
During the ten-month program, participants will have access to ongoing support from the Healthy Start team.
We encourage participants to celebrate and share their commitment to the health of young children. Healthy Start coordinators can help you to organize events such as a family fun day.
Your feedback is important to us. Each group 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.
Our aim is that the resources and vision of Healthy Start will become part of your everyday routines. Healthy Start is committed to working with participating early years programs for approximately ten months. However, all the resources we provide are yours to keep and use forever.
The program now offers a family engagement component. You can request a Healthy Start for Families session, which will be delivered to parents at your childcare centre, or through a family resource centre located near you. Visit Healthy Start for Families/ Hyperlink Get Trained > Healthy Start for Families