A Phoenix, Arizona Community Site Empowers Child Care Providers

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Posted November 21, 2011

What better way to teach children about nutrition and physical activity than to start with those that help take care of our kids each day! When the Arizona Department of Health Service (ADHS) We Can!® community site was receiving more and more requests from child care providers about providing information and resources for parents, they developed a training program and began distributing the We Can! Parent Handbook for providers to give to parents to reinforce healthy habits at home.

The program, called the Empower Pack Program, is a public health childcare initiative through Empower Pack. ADHS provides train-the-trainer sessions to child care providers to teach them the importance of making healthy choices about nutrition and physical activity.

Participating child care providers, such as child care center directors, child care home providers, and teachers, receive: 1) an actual Empower "Pack," which includes tools that can be easily practiced each day to promote healthy life choices, 2) reduced child care licensing fees, and 3) information about We Can!'s resources, materials, and messages. Participants are also directed to the We Can! website at the end of the session.

"We heard from child care providers that they wanted to find ways to reinforce the information they were learning in the trainings with parents," said Adrienne Udarbe, Community Programs Manager at the Arizona Department of Health Services. "With the Empower Pack Program, we not only train the child care providers but we also distribute the We Can! Parent Handbook so providers can engage parents and help them learn healthy practices too."

Adrienne Udarbe presents information about food labels to the Empower Pack Program participants. Adrienne Udarbe presents information about food labels
to the Empower Pack Program participants.

The Empower Pack Program includes "10 Ways to Empower Children to Live Healthy Lives," which is a list of best practices that child care centers must follow to become an official Empower Center. A few of the elements include:

  • Providing at least 60 minutes of structured activity and at least 60 minutes of unstructured physical activity each day
  • Limiting screen time to under one hour a day
  • Serving one percent fat-free or low-fat milk for all children over two years
  • Offering water at least four times during the day

Last Updated: February 13, 2013