Over the past five years, LiveWell Greenville has partnered with many local agencies to create healthy environments for out of school time providers. The providers involved in this partnership with LiveWell Greenville have benefited from the coalition’s technical assistance and resources to support their students in learning about and engaging in more physical activity and providing healthier foods.
After seeing the success of the Out of School Time workgroup, LiveWell Greenville identified that younger children could also benefit from this type of work. Since 28% of South Carolina preschoolers were overweight or obese in 2010 and the majority of young children spend substantial time in out-of-home care, Early Childcare centers are an ideal place for intervention. In August of 2016, the Early Childhood initiative was launched. The goal of this initiative is to create the healthiest environment possible to support children in leading a healthy lifestyle.
The Early Childhood intervention targets improvements in childcare center policies, systems, and environments to support a healthy weight for preschoolers at 10 Greenville County childcare centers. The intervention assists childcare center directors and caregivers in setting goals and revising or creating policies for improving healthy eating and physical activity environments. Utilizing a community-based participatory research approach, LiveWell Greenville is currently evaluating the impact of this 2-year early childhood obesity prevention intervention. Findings from this research will inform local and state public health departments as they select evidence-based interventions to improve child health.