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This nutrition education and information campaign is sponsored each year by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The campaign focuses on how to make informed food choices and develop sound eating and physical activity habits.

Promote healthy nutrition with children, families and staff at your program. Examine the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ website. Use National Nutrition Month Handouts and Tipsheets for Families and Communities and the 20 tipsheets, including Smart Snacking Tips for Kids.

The Early Childhood Education Linkage System (ECELS) website offers resources to promote healthy nutrition. Explore valuable options in the Child Care Health Consultant Toolkit- Obesity Prevention, for example: Tips for Packing a Healthy School Lunch and Tips for Feeding Picky Eaters (one minute video and resources). Use Model Child Care Health Policies, 5th Ed. to revise/develop policies and practices to support improved nutrition, breastfeeding, physical activity and screen time. Earn professional development credit and assess your program’s physical activity and nutrition policies and practices for infants through children age 5 with Fitness and Nutrition: Moving and Munching, Supporting Wellness in Early Learning Programs - Self Learning Module. Use the Healthy Kids, Healthy Future (formerly the Let's Move Child Care) resources and the Nutrition and Physical Activity Self- Assessment for Child Care (Go NAP SACC). Based on your assessment, develop an action plan to make improvements.  

Contact ECELS at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with any questions.

Caring for Our Children: National Health and Safety Performance Standards, 4th Edition (CFOC4) is now available online at the National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care and Early Education (NRC) http://nrckids.org/CFOC. The print version is available from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), bookstore for $64.95.

These national standards represent the best evidence expertise and experience in the country on quality health and safety practices and policies that should be followed in early care and education settings.  CFOC4 includes a chart with a list of the standards that have been updated since CFOC3.
CFOC4 features 10 chapters of more than 650 standards and dozens of appendixes with valuable supplemental information, forms, and tools.

KEY FEATURES
• More than 100 updated standards and appendixes
• Updated appendixes, including Signs and Symptoms Chart, Recommended Immunization Schedule, and Recommendations for Preventive Pediatric Health Care
• Completely revised and updated topics on environmental health, infectious diseases, and nutrition

Did you know…
ECELS has valuable tools to help you meet the new STARS Standard LM.2.5 Program uses Caring for Our Children to establish policies and practices regarding care plans for children with special needs, asthma, medical needs, food allergies, and medication administration. 

1. Use Model Child Care Health Policies, 5th Ed. form-field version to adapt a policy for your program.  See Section 10-Health Plan, items E, F, and Appendix X - Medication Administration Packet.  Model Child Care Health Policies, 5th Ed. is consistent with Caring for Our Children, 3rd Ed. online (CFOC3).
2. Use the ECELS Care Plan for Children with Special Needs and Process to Enroll documents.  
3. Use the ECELS Self-Learning Module, Children with Medical and Developmental Special Needs, Inclusive Practices to educate staff about caring for children with special needs,  using care plans and making adaptations. (2 hours credit)

If you have questions about these tools, please send an email with your contact information to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Sign-up on this website to receive E-Mail Alerts from ECELS about news or key new postings on this website. Please click on the orange button on the home page to access this function. In addition, child care health consultants have an opportunity to request access to a password-protected site where ECELS is posting lesson plans for qualified instructors. To access this function, select the role "Health Professional, Child Care Health Consultant, Child Care Health Advocate" at the bottom left of the home page, and then click on the button "Health Consultant Registration" for the log-in request. Updated 4/8/14.

Reduce the risk of influenza (flu) in your early care and education program this year.  See the flu article and resources.

Many children receive gifts made of plastic over the holidays. Children may bring these items to the early education and child care program. Caring for Our Children, 3rd edition (CFOC3) Standard 5.2.9.9: Plastic Containers and Toys says: “The facility should use infant bottles, plastic containers, and toys that do not contain Polyvinyl chloride (PVC), Bisphenol A (BPA), or phthalates. When possible, caregivers/teachers should substitute materials such as paper, ceramic, glass, and stainless steel for plastics.” ….

Products children touch and use should be labeled “phthalate-free” or “BPA-free” or certified by Toy Safety Certification Program (TSCP) or American National Standards Institute (ANSI). Check the symbol on the bottom of all plastic items including toys. Seven distinct types are labeled with a number code generally found on the bottom of the object. Best plastic choices are labeled 1, 2, 4, 5 and plastics labeled “phthalate-free” or “BPA-free”; avoid plastics labeled 3, 6, and 7. For more detail, see the full text of CFOC3 Standard 5.2.9.9.