“Providing more training, at a low cost to providers, would be very beneficial to children and providers. It is feasible to increase activity in child care—easy, actually—with the right resources.”
— Teresa Storm, Owner
Tender Times Child Care, Amery
Small changes yielded big rewards for Teresa Storm when she piloted Active Early at her Amery, WI family childcare center, Tender Times Child Care. Six years ago, prompted by a personal conviction to improve her own lifestyle, Storm started giving more attention to the physical activity and nutrition patterns of the children at her center. Her informal efforts were a start, but it was not until completing the Active Early training that Storm intentionally scheduled physical activity into her daily lesson plan.
Energized by the low-cost, simple strategies provided by Active Early, Storm began introducing 10-minute spurts of physical activity throughout the day to achieve the goal of 120 minutes. She incorporated more teacher-led instruction during outdoor play, turned transition times into opportunities for activity, and found creative ways to include movement in traditionally sedentary periods such as circle time.
When the pilot first began, Storm was eager to incorporate her new ideas all at once. However, she soon realized the children needed time to adjust to the new schedule and additional physical activity. She gradually added the 10-minute bouts of activity, tailoring them to the energy levels and abilities of the individual children. Storm noted fewer behav-ioral issues and greater enthusiasm among the children during the day. They even napped better, too.
Storm had already been passionate about promoting healthy habits at her center, but Active Early equipped her with the specific tools and strategies to do so every day. Based on her experiences, Storm firmly believes “providing more training, at a low cost to providers, would be very beneficial to the children and providers. It is feasible to increase activity in child care—easy, actually—with the right resources.”