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Obesity is an increasing health concern for our children. Today, nearly 1 in 4 American children ages 2-5 are overweight or obese. Because so many young children spend a significant portion of their week in child care, these early care & learning programs have a unique opportunity to combat childhood obesity. The Center for Disease Control recently released its Early Care and Education State Indicator Report to show how states have promoted obesity prevention efforts in program settings.

Many of Alaska's early care & learning programs are committed to preventing childhood obesity. In Alaska, thread offers a professional development opportunity called the Let's Move Child Care Quality Initiative, which focuses on obesity prevention and is based on First Lady Michelle Obama's national Let's Move Child Care initiative. Through this quality initiative, thread is helping programs statewide work on implementing best practices to prevent childhood obesity.

The Let's Move Child Care Quality Initiative includes training for early childhood teachers, development of a Quality Improvement Plan (QIP), consultation with thread staff, and a financial stipend to support the implementation of the QIP. The goals of this quality initiative include reducing screen time, increasing physical activity, and providing healthy beverages and food. Equipped with these best practices, early care & learning programs are on track to help prevent childhood obesity and teach children life-long healthy habits.

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