SHINE Element 8: Wellness Policies
Guidance for implementing the criteria for Element 8, Wellness Policies, of the Preschools Shaping Healthy Impressions through Nutrition and Exercise (SHINE) program.
Criteria for Element 8, Wellness Policies
- Form a team to help draft policies.
- Review current nutrition and physical activity guidelines.
- Conduct an assessment of current policies and program practices before developing new policies.
- Draft policies in language that is clear and covers all areas in the program.
Policies on nutrition and physical activity are critical to improving children’s health and well-being. Strong, clear, and well-written policies can foster healthy practices and support healthy behaviors throughout the child care environment. Effective policies provide clear guidelines to staff members and families and influence the day-to-day practices in child care programs. These daily practices play a key role in helping children develop healthy eating and physical activity habits.
Follow the practices below to meet the criteria for Element 8
- Form a team to help draft policies
The team that drafts the wellness policy is typically the leadership team. The team may also be comprised of:
- Center directors (or program administrators)
- Family child care providers
- Board members
- Program administrators
- Food service personnel
- Health education consultants
- Physical activity consultants
- Community members
- Review current nutrition and physical activity guidelines
Guidelines for wellness policies are based on science and derived from credible sources, such as the ones listed below:
- Conduct an assessment of current policies and program practices before developing new policies
Use the CDSS Preschools SHINE Self-Assessment (PDF) to review current nutrition and physical activity practices at the preschool, or use another early child care self-assessment tool available online:
Identify strengths and gaps in the program after completing the assessment. Use the CDSS Preschools SHINE Action Plan to eliminate the gaps.
- Draft policies in language that is clear and covers all areas in the program
- Include language in the policy for Preschools SHINE elements. Use wellness policy templates that are already developed so you do not have to reinvent the wheel. Adjust the language so it meets the policies at your preschool.
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