Every child deserves the chance to eat healthy food and play every day. Because 60 percent of children under age six spend much of their time in care outside of their homes, early care and education settings are important places for children to build healthy habits.
To make sure that happens, groups around the country are beginning to advocate for raising the bar for nutrition and active play standards in neighborhoods and communities, and in child care. The Voices for Healthy Kids initiative has funding available to support this advocacy—and if you are ready to make the case that child care should be accessible, affordable, and provide spaces for children to learn healthy habits, we want you to consider leading a Voices for Healthy Kids campaign.
Voices for Healthy Kids is a joint funding initiative of the American Heart Association and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation that aims to promote healthier environments where children can learn, play, and grow. In the past three years, Voices for Healthy Kids has helped change 50 state and local policies affecting more than 66 million people.
On November 3, 2017, Voices released a new call for proposals. This time around, their focus is on funding on early care and education, out-of-school time, and school health campaigns. This informational webinar describes the types of initiatives Voices for Healthy Kids funds, and showcases resources that help organizations develop their proposals.
The early care and education community must lead the charge for healthier child care standards. Working with partners in public health, health equity, nutrition, and other fields, early childhood advocates can make sure that all children have access to healthy child care environments—and ensure that these campaigns are done with us, not for us. They can also make sure that child care providers get the support they need to meet new, healthier standards.
In 2015, leaders in the early care and education community capitalized on an opportunity to update child care licensing rules in Colorado. Voices for Health Kids funding supported coalition-building and advocacy to put new nutrition, beverage, active play, and screen time standards into place. Now the more than 100,000 children in Colorado child care have an even healthier place to learn and grow. Currently, Voices-funded campaigns in Alabama, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and North Dakota are actively pursuing policy options to improve nutrition and physical activity standards in child care.
Proposals for this round of funding are due December 8, 2017. Child Care Aware® of America is here to answer questions you might have about the application process. Explore the grant opportunities and begin and online application at https://voicesforhealthykids.org/grant-opportunities/.