In 2013 Child Care Aware® of Missouri was selected to partner with Nemours and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to implement the National Early Care and Education (ECE) Learning Collaborative project called Taking Steps for Healthy Success-Missouri. As one of just six states that piloted the national project, Taking Steps to Healthy Success-Missouri promoted healthy environments and policies in early child care centers across the state. Child Care Aware® of Missouri has offered Taking Steps to Healthy Success across Missouri from 2013 – 2018 serving 210 child care programs.
Taking Steps to Healthy Success-Missouri was also awarded a contract with the Department of Health and Senior Services, Bureau of Community Wellness for 2017 – 2020. This work is focused on supporting healthy lifestyles for children in family child care programs in rural areas of the state.
As Taking Steps to Healthy Success-Missouri moves forward, we have partnered with the Missouri Foundation for Health Healthy Schools Healthy Communities initiative for 2018 – 2020. Through this three year collaboration, we will bring Taking Steps to Healthy Success-Missouri to licensed and license-exempt center-based and family child care programs in the St. Louis City and Jefferson City/Morgan County R-2 public school districts (2018 – 2019); Riverview Gardens/Ferguson-Florissant and Dunklin/Pemiscot county school districts (2019 – 2020); and in south central Missouri in the Salem R-80, Oak Hill R-I, Cabool R-IV, Houston R-I and Willow Springs R-IV school districts as well as a second group in the Riverview Gardens/Ferguson-Florissant School District (2020).
Taking Steps to Healthy Success-Missouri aligns with national best practices to support healthier environments for children, their families and child care educators through:
- Increasing nutrition through increased consumption of fruits and vegetables
- Nurturing healthy eaters and providing healthy beverages
- Increasing daily physical activity
- Supporting family style dining and breastfeeding
- Reducing screen time
- Engaging families as partners
- Meeting child care educators’ health and wellness goals