Before the close of the new year, the Childhood Obesity Prevention Coalition, American Heart Association, and other advocates worked with the Department of Children, Youth and Families (formerly the Department of Early Learning) accomplished a hefty task of standardizing and updating health and safety licensing requirements for family-home and center-based child care settings in Washington State.
The standards, which were finalized this summer, include:
- Nutrition: Meals must meet USDA standard, sugary drinks may not be offered only unflavored milk can be served, a fruit or vegetable must be included during at least one snack each day, water must be readily available, and breastfeeding mothers must be accommodated and supported.
- Physical Activity: Early childhood education programs must offer a minimum amount of daily physical activity – specified to a child’s age and program length – that must include time outdoors and also a mixture of activities.
- Screen Time: Screen time is limited for kids over 2 years old.