A nutrition and physical activity intervention for family child care homes

Am J Prev Med. 2011 Oct;41(4):392-8. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2011.06.030.


Background: Family child care homes (FCCHs) provide child care to 1.9 million children in the U.S., but many do not meet established child care standards for healthy eating and physical activity.

Purpose: To determine the effects of a community-based train-the-trainer intervention on FCCHs policies and practices related to healthy eating and physical activity.

Design: Quasi-experimental design with replication in three independent cohorts of FCCHs.

Setting/participants: Registered FCCHs from 15 counties across Kansas participated in the Healthy Kansas Kids (HKK) program. Resource and referral agencies (RRAs) in each county recruited and enrolled between five and 15 child care providers in their service delivery area to participate in the program. The number of registered FCCHs participating in HKK in Years 1 (2006-2007); 2 (2007-2008); and 3 (2008-2009) of the program were 85, 64, and 87, respectively. A stratified random sample of registered FCCHs operating in Kansas (n=297) served as a normative comparison group.

Interventions: Child care trainers from each RRA completed a series of train-the-trainer workshops related to promotion of healthy eating and physical activity. FCCHs were subsequently guided through a four-step iterative process consisting of (1) self-evaluation; (2) goal setting; (3) developing an action plan; and (4) evaluating progress toward meeting goals. FCCHs also received U.S. Department of Agriculture resources related to healthy eating and physical activity.

Main outcome measures: Nutrition and Physical Activity Self-Assessment for Child Care (NAP SACC) self-assessment instrument (NAP SACC-SA). Analyses of outcome measures were conducted between 2008 and 2010.

Results: Healthy Kansas Kids FCCHs exhibited significant improvements in healthy eating (Δ=6.9%-7.1%) and physical activity (Δ=15.4%-19.2%) scores (p<0.05). Within each cohort, pre-intervention scores were not significantly different from the state average, whereas post-intervention scores were significantly higher than the state average.

Conclusions: Community-based train-the-trainer interventions to promote healthy eating and physical activity in FCCHs are feasible, sustainable, and effective.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child Care*
  • Child Day Care Centers / organization & administration*
  • Data Collection
  • Exercise*
  • Health Education / methods*
  • Health Promotion / methods
  • Humans
  • Kansas
  • Motor Activity
  • Nutrition Assessment
  • Organizational Policy*