Healthy habits begin with early education

Research indicates that ages 2-5 are a critical time for instilling lifelong healthy behaviors. Preschoolers who are overweight or obese are five times more likely to become overweight or obese as adults. Equally troubling, the prevalence of obesity among U.S. preschoolers has doubled in recent decades, and while obesity rates have recently dropped in 19 states, they remained unchanged in Indiana.

Training child care providers to create healthy environments for their students promotes the development of healthy habits during these critical years.

Taking Steps for Healthy Success

Taking Steps for Healthy Success, a training program funded by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), was launched in Indiana in September 2013 by Nemours, one of the nation’s largest pediatric health systems, and Early Learning Indiana (ELI). More than 100 providers participated in the initial training to implement changes in nutrition and physical activity policies.

Since 2015 Jump IN has partnered with Nemours and Early Learning Indiana (ELI) to train 90 of these providers, who care for more than 4,000 preschoolers in central Indiana. Since the program started in 2013, in central Indiana alone 121 providers—caring for nearly 8,000 preschoolers—have been trained. That's more than 20% of the preschoolers who are in child care settings, but only 6% of the preschoolers who live in central Indiana. We have much work left to do to reach everyone who cares for children in this critical age range, and to promote the healthy practices from this highly effective program. 

With the support of Anthem Foundation, Jump IN and ELI will train an additional 75 central Indiana child care providers in 2017 and 2018.

Nemours and ELI continue to refine program delivery, even adding online training pieces to the most recent cohort. These enhancements help maximize effiiciency in delivery and make the program cost effective, replicable, and sustainable. Additionally, Nemours and ELI continue to roll training out in other communities in Indiana, now reaching as far north as South Bend and Elkhart. 

The Jump IN Pledge for Healthy Kids is a commitment to eat and drink healthy, be active, and teach healthy habits to children and families. When you Pledge, we support your efforts. Learn more about the Jump IN Pledge.