TAYLOR COUNTY—One local childcare center was the recipient of an award that focuses on the health and well-being of children in their care.
Little Feet Daycare and Preschool was presented with the 2021 WV Champion Nutrition and Physical Activity Self-Assessment for Child Care (NAP SACC) Center Award due to their efforts in encouraging a healthy lifestyle to the children they serve.
“Director and owner Julie Dowdy promotes wellness at the center by teaching kids how to grow and care for plants, as well as working to ensure that youngsters in her care receive at least 120 minutes of active playtime each day,” shared Jessica Criner, education specialist for KEYS 4 HealthyKids.
Little Feet was among ten childcare centers in the state who are demonstrating best practices in nutrition and physical activity, recently earning them the 2021 WV Champion NAP SACC Center Award.
For their dedication to the health of the children in their centers, each recipient as awarded $3,000 and a plaque to display in their centers. In addition, each center will be showcased in a promotional video spotlighting their great work.
The NAP SACC award, developed by KEYS 4 HealthyKids and funded through the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, was Created by University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Through NAP SACC, an evidence-based program, centers are gauged on certain criteria that will help lead to a healthier lifestyle for children and their families.
It has been shown through research that forming healthy habits in early childhood yields lifelong results.
According to the release, Currently, 16.6 percent of children in WV ages two-four who participate in WIC have obesity, and studies show that excess weight in childhood is predictive of adult obesity, which can lead to both diabetes and hypertension.
“For these reasons, it is imperative that we work to improve the health of our children to ensure the future health of our population,” Criner noted.
KEYS 4 HealthyKids partners with the Early Care and Education sector to intervene early and help make the healthy choice the easy choice.
Through programs like KEY 2 a Healthy Start and Farm 2 ECE, KEYS empowers childcare centers to develop policies and translate them into effective strategies for wellness and obesity prevention.
To learn more about this award or watch the promotional videos, visit www.facebook.com/keys4healthykids.