Expanding access to high quality early childhood education is among the smartest investments that we can make. Research has shown that the early years in a child’s life—when the human brain is forming—represent a critically important window of opportunity to develop a child’s full potential and shape key academic, social, and cognitive skills that determine a child’s success in school and in life.
Participation in high-quality early learning programs—like Head Start, public and private pre-K, and childcare—will provide children from all backgrounds with a strong start and a foundation for school success. These programs also generate a significant return on investment for society; numerous economic studies have documented a rate of return of $7 or more on each dollar invested through a reduced need for spending on other services, such as remedial education, grade repetition, and special education, as well as increased productivity and earnings for these children as adults.
President Obama’s comprehensive early learning agenda invests in and strengthens early childhood education, care, and development for our nation’s youngest learners. It helps to prevent achievement gaps before they start, and invests from an early age in children as our most critical national resource.
The Let’s Move Child Care Checklist presents recommendations forchildhood obesity prevention in early care and education. Thechecklist is a component of Let’s Move Child Care, a website launchedby the White House on June 8, 2011, in collaboration with Nemours andthe National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies to help child care providers (public and private, center and homebased) promote health in infants, toddlers, and preschool-agechildren. The checklist is based on the Nutrition and PhysicalSelf-Assessment for Child Care (NAP SACC), a research-testedintervention designed to enhance policies, practices, and environmentsin child care by improving the nutritional quality of food served, theamount and quality of physical activity, staff-child interactions, andfacility nutrition and physical activity policies and practices andrelated environmental characteristics. Checklist topics includephysical activity, screen time, food, beverages, and infant feeding.