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ERIC Number: EJ907946
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1559-5676
Creating and Maintaining a Wellness Environment in Child Care Centers Participating in the Child and Adult Care Food Program
Lofton, Kristi L.; Carr, Deborah H.
Journal of Child Nutrition & Management, v34 n1 Spr 2010
Purpose/Objectives: This study identifies issues associated with creating and maintaining a wellness environment in child care centers (CCCs) participating in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). Methods: Structured interviews and focus groups were conducted with CCC professionals and state agency personnel to develop a survey to assess perceptions, practices, and training needs of child care professionals creating and maintaining a wellness environment in CCCs. The surveys were mailed to a national sample of 700 CCC directors stratified by seven USDA regions. Results: A total of 363 surveys were returned (52%) and proportional representation was achieved from CCC directors in all seven USDA regions. The majority of respondents were women (99%) operating CCCs eight hours or more per day (99%), preparing meals and snacks onsite (86%), serving mostly children ages 3 to 5 years (98%). Findings from the data indicate that CCC professionals perceived wellness in CCCs as a comprehensive approach that includes nutrition, safety, and physical activity for children. Exploratory factor analysis produced two factors from the practice statements accounting for 50.0% of the variance: Resources and Partnerships (13 items, alpha = 0.94) and Healthy Environment (13 items, alpha = 0.90). Respondents indicated that "I need" and "my staff" need training to secure resources to support wellness practices. CCC staff need additional training to address issues related to teaching and modeling wellness practices to children and addressing communication issues with parents about their children's wellness needs. Applications to Child Nutrition Professionals: The child care wellness perceptions, practices, and training needs identified in this study could be used to develop best practices or quality indicators for CCC professionals creating and maintaining a wellness environment in CCCs participating in the CACFP. (Contains 4 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A