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Child Care - The Gold Sneaker Initiative

Getting a Jump on Childhood Obesity Prevention

According to research, health habits are instilled at a young age, with most habits being formed during adolescence. Following adolescence, as we see with adults, habits become much harder to change. If can instill good habits at an early age, we can address behavioral factors that contribute to overweight and obesity from the beginning.
The Gold Sneaker initiative was developed to enhance policy related to physical activity and nutrition within licensed child care facilities across Tennessee. It is collaboration among the Department of Health, Department of Human Services, United Way, and YMCA of TN and funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). New policy will be primarily focused on physical activity, more frequently referred to as “active play” in this age group. Policies to enact will include minimum requirements on physical activity, sedentary activities, breastfeeding, meal time, behaviors, portion sizes, and a tobacco-free facility.
Child care facilities that implement the proposed enhanced physical activity, nutrition, and tobacco policies will earn a “Gold Sneaker” award which designates them as a “Gold Sneaker” child care facility. Such designation can be used for marketing purposes for the child care facilities, and local organizations will encourage parents to select such facilities. Facilities receive recognition through a certificate, decals, stickers, website recognition, and some incentives. Training will be online and centers will have a tremendous amount of technical support.
For more information on the Gold Sneaker initiative, including the specific policies, check out:
To register for training and become a Gold Sneaker facility, contact:
Joan Cook MS, RD
Tennessee Department of Health
Phone: (615) 253-8745
Fax: (615)532-7189

Don’t wait until a new enrollee TURNS YOU DOWN because you are NOT a Gold Sneaker facility!