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Early Care & Education
Did you know...
  • When fruits and vegetables as well as other nutrient rich foods are available in child care and after-school settings, children will eat more of them?
  • Limiting exposure to less healthy foods is an important aspect of acquiring tastes for a variety of healthy foods (Institute of Medicine, 2005)?
  • Current child care licensing regulations in NJ do not adequately address nutrition, physical activity and breastfeeding standards and fail to address TV viewing?
  • Training is needed for child care staff on best practices in the areas of child health, nutrition, physical activity, TV limits and breastfeeding of young children?
ShapingNJ Strategies

ShapingNJ works with child care centers and state-wide child care agencies to make it easier for children to have healthy foods and be active while they are in day care. Our work focuses on one main strategy:

Require child care centers and after-school programs to offer healthy food and beverages, provide opportunities for physical activity, limit television viewing and support breastfeeding for children in their care. 

  • Revise child care center licensing requirements for child care and after-school programs to ensure they offer healthy foods, encourage physical activity, limit television viewing and support breastfeeding.

  • Provide training for child care providers in healthy child nutrition and physical activity and ways to limit television viewing and support breastfeeding.

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Highlights and Accomplishments

In working towards making healthy foods and activity available to children in child care centers, ShapingNJ's progress includes the following: 

  • ONF and ShapingNJ partners conducted and analyzed information from 25 focus groups with child care providers, parents, and other stakeholders around NJ to identify necessary and feasible changes to the child care center state licensing requirements.
  • ONF worked with the NJ Department of Human Services and county child care resource and referral agencies to provide training and technical assistance to 105 child care centers around New Jersey.
  • ShapingNJ made recommendations to the NJ Department of Children and Families, Office of Licensing to strengthen state child care licensing requirements.
    • These recommendations are being reviewed and are currently on track to be adopted.
  • ShapingNJ convened a Let's Move! Child Care training of over 90 child care professionals from throughout New Jersey. The training provided practitioners with innovative ideas and techniques to keep kids moving and eating healthy foods while in child care centers.




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