First Lady Michelle Obama Applauds Learning Care Group's Commitment to Creating Healthier Child Care Environments
Major child care provider commits to implement nutrition and physical activity standards that align with Let’s Move! Child Care goals
WASHINGTON, DC—Today, First Lady Michelle Obama joins the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) and Learning Care Group to announce Learning Care Group’s commitment to providing a healthier environment at 900 schools across the country. Working with PHA and the Nemours Foundation, Learning Care Group will implement best practices that align with Let’s Move! Child Care goals in five areas: physical activity, screen time, food and beverages, infant feeding, and parent engagement.
To highlight this announcement, the First Lady is visiting La Petite Academy in Bowie, Maryland, a member of the Learning Care Group family, where she will engage in physical activity and eat healthy snacks with children at the center. Last year, the CDC found that obesity rates among low-income preschoolers declined in 19 states and territories across the country, including Maryland, for the first time in decades.
“Healthier eating and regular physical activity are becoming the new norm for children across the country,” said First Lady Michelle Obama. “I am thrilled about Learning Care Group’s new commitment to implement best practices in schools across our country to instill healthy habits in our children from a young age.”
Today’s announcement comes on the heels of the release of a CDC report which found that the prevalence of obesity in children ages 2 to 5 has declined 43% over the past 10 years. Learning Care Group’s commitment to make their school environments even healthier will play a vital role in continued efforts to reduce obesity prevalence.
Since Let’s Move! launched in 2010, organizations across the country have joined the First Lady in her efforts to encourage children to eat healthy and get active. Helping kids develop healthy habits in their earliest years is vital to their future health. Since many young children spend the majority of their day in child care, it is critical that these centers are healthy environments where parents can rest assured that the hard work they are doing at home to keep their kids healthy will be reinforced when they are in child care.
“We were so honored to have First Lady Michelle Obama with us today at La Petite Academy as we reaffirmed our commitment to ensuring a healthy environment for all of the young children in our care,” said Learning Care Group CEO Barbara Beck. “Through our internal Grow Fit initiative, we’ve made healthy living a daily part of our school culture. Now, together with the Partnership for a Healthier America and Let’s Move! Child Care, we’re providing a solid foundation for lifelong fitness for children nationwide.”
Specifically, over the next three years, Learning Care Group is committing to:
- Promote healthy eating by serving fruits and/or vegetables at a minimum of two meals or snack per day, eliminating fried foods, and encouraging kids to drink water.
- Provide at least one hour of physical activity each day and work with parents and caregivers to limit children to no more than one hour of screen time per day.
- Inform parents about healthy eating and physical activity through materials and events and supporting mothers who wish to continue breastfeeding.