Early Care and Education Basics - Minnesota Department of Health

Early Care and Education Basics

Ensuring Children Grow Up Healthy

All children deserve the chance to grow up healthy. Early childhood is a time when kids develop healthy eating and physical activity habits that help them do just that. 

Development of those healthy habits does not only happen at home. In Minnesota, 69 percent of infants and toddlers and 82 percent of 3 to 5 year olds attend child care regularly, spending on average 27 to 31 hours per week there.1

Helping early care providers support healthier families

The Statewide Health Improvement Partnership (SHIP) provides training and technical assistance to early care providers to advance best practices for breastfeeding support, healthy eating and physical activity that will help get our youngest generation off to a healthy start.

With such a large number of kids receiving care outside the home, everyone is responsible for setting an example to help children learn and develop healthy habits. Child care providers need to be prepared to encourage children in their care to try new foods, provide physical activities, limit screen time and support moms who want to continue breastfeeding.

SHIP’s training and follow up model works!

SHIP offers training and critical follow-up assistance to help providers put what they learned into practice. An evaluation study by MDH found that after participating in SHIP trainings, there was a:

▪ 13 percentage point increase in offering vegetables
▪ 25 percentage point increase in proper breastmilk handling
▪ 21 percentage point increase in providing 90+ minutes of active playtime

Learn More

Learn more about the SHIP Child Care Training and Technical Assistance Report.

1Chase, R, Valorose, J. Child Care Use in Minnesota: Report of the 2009 Statewide Household Child Care Survey. St. Paul, MN: Wilder Research; 2010.

Updated Monday, 11-Feb-2019 13:15:32 CST