Creating Healthier Places

YMCA of the USA

Year Committed: 2011
Length of Commitment: 4 years

Adopt and implement specific policies and procedures governing healthy eating, physical activity and screen time practices in YMCA early childhood and afterschool programs. Develop a Quality Rating and Improvement System to support implementation efforts and track implementation progress.

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Verified Results

    • Commitment Element

      Y-USA will adopt specific policies and procedures for healthy eating and physical activity ("HEPA Standards") in early childhood and afterschool programs. YMCA Member Associations, will, in turn, enter into Memoranda Of Understanding with Y-USA upon either formally adopting the standards or through accepting the standards through the use of materials, services, or grants made available to them by Y-USA.
    • Progress To Date

      Between April 2015 and February 2016, CEOs from 20 Y Member Associations with an early childhood or afterschool program made a commitment to meet the HEPA standards. To date, the CEOs of 748 (96%) Y Membership Associations had made this commitment.

    • Implementation Date

      November 2015
    • Reporting Date

      April 2016
    • Commitment Element

      Develop and utilize a Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) to facilitate the work of YMCA Member Associations in implementing policies and procedures, and in tracking this implementation through annual assessments, trainings, a 'healthy vendor' program, community and state level advocacy and the use of programs and program materials which include educational and operational content consistent with the policies and procedures that adhere to the HEPA standards.
    • Progress To Date

      Between April 2015 and April 2016, Y-USA offered 3 training opportunities on the HEPA standards to 431 people. To date, it has provided training opportunities on the HEPA standards to 3,217 people. As of April 2016, the Y had agreements with 8 vendors to offer discounted rates to Ys to purchase items to support HEPA standard implementation, including nutrition and physical activity resources, healthful foods and water filters.

    • Implementation Date

      November 2015
    • Reporting Date

      April 2016
    • Commitment Element

      Eighty-five percent of YMCA Member Associations with early childhood or afterschool programs will be in compliance with the HEPA Standards.
    • Progress To Date

      Survey responses were received from 478 (66%) of the 726 Y associations that had committed to meeting the HEPA standards as of February 2016. Of these, 130 Y associations (27%) reported that they had at least one early childhood or afterschool program in compliance with all of the HEPA standards. More than 80% of early childhood programs were meeting 11 out of 18 standards, and more than 80% of afterschool programs were meeting 8 out of 15 standards. Three of the most commonly met standards for early childhood and afterschool sites were: •Limiting screen time (100% and 96%, respectively) •Offering physical activity daily (97% and 99%, respectively) •Providing drinking water at all times (97% and 95%, respectively)

    • Implementation Date

      July 2015
    • Reporting Date

      April 2016

Partner Statement

“The Y, one of the nation’s largest nonprofit childcare providers, continues its efforts to become the nation’s healthiest childcare provider. In 2011, YMCA of the USA (Y-USA) committed to Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) and first lady Michelle Obama to adopt Healthy Eating and Physical Activity (HEPA) Standards in its early childhood and afterschool programs to promote healthy lifestyle choices.

"The Y has aimed to have 100 percent of nearly 800 local YMCAs offering early childhood or afterschool programs committed to implementing the HEPA standards. This report shows 96 percent of those Ys have made this commitment, up from 88 percent reported last April. Ys have had success implementing most standards. For example, the Y’s early childhood and afterschool programs reported more than 80 percent compliance on 11 and 8 of the standards respectively.

"Y’s have increased their capacity to implement HEPA through Y-USA’s technical assistance, resource development, and financial incentives. Additional support to Ys included hosting 12 statewide internal and external HEPA summits, launching a business case model project, and partnering with the Public Health Law Center on resources for navigating the regulations that impact HEPA implementation.

"Each year from 2012 through 2016, the percent of Ys that reported meeting 100 percent of the HEPA standards increased by an average of about 4 percent. We are proud of the accomplishments made during this five-year commitment and the steady progress made both locally and at the state-level towards HEPA implementation, our intention is to continually refine our approach and support to meet Ys where they are to ensure that the more than 700,000 children in Y early childhood and afterschool programs eat healthy foods and engage in physical activity.”