GSA Child Care National Strategy for Hunger, Nutrition, and Health
GSA takes very seriously its responsibility to provide safe and healthy child care environments and cares deeply about the health and nutrition of the children that receive care in GSA Child Care Centers.
The early years are a critical time for children's growth and development. Nutritional problems must be identified and treated during this period in order to prevent serious or long-term medical problems. The early care and education setting may be offering a majority of a child's daily nutritional intake especially for children in full-time care.
National guidelines ( Preventing Childhood Obesity in Early Care and Education Programs, Caring for Our Children) for children birth to age five encourage their engagement in daily physical activity that promotes movement, motor skills and the foundations of health-related fitness. Physical activity is important to overall health and to overweight and obesity prevention.
The GSA Child Care Program will work with their federal child care centers to promote improved nutrition and physical activity in their early care and education (ECE) programs.
- ECE practices and programs can support healthy eating and physical activity when children are young and potentially instill lifelong healthy habits.
- Many providers are already engaged in these types of activities, and by promoting nutrition and physical activity, GSA can encourage enhancing existing programs as well as further motivate providers.