Objective. Childhood obesity experts have identified licensed child care providers as a focus for prevention efforts. Since 2011, local public health agencies in Minnesota have provided training and support to child care providers to assist in implementation of weight-related policies and practices as part of Minnesota’s Statewide Health Improvement Partnership (SHIP). Method. A representative sample of licensed child care centers and family home providers in Minnesota participated in a 2016 survey of policies and practices on child nutrition, infant feeding, and physical activity (n = 618, response rate = 38.5%). Results. In adjusted analyses, SHIP-participating providers were significantly more likely to implement child nutrition (prevalence ratio = 1.46, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.14, 1.88]) and physical activity (PR = 1.64, 95% CI [1.26, 2.14]) policies and implemented approximately one additional best practice in child nutrition and infant feeding, respectively. SHIP participation was associated with best practices and policies among home-based providers and policies among centers. Conclusions. Child care providers who participated in SHIP implemented more best practices and policies on weight-related topics than providers who did not participate. Findings suggest that efforts by local public health agencies to support child care providers can be effective at increasing adherence to practices and policies that are likely to influence child behavior and weight.
Health Promotion Practice – SAGE
Published: May 1, 2019
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