Creating Healthier Places

Learning Care Group

2017 Progress Report

Year Committed: 2014
Length of Commitment: 3 years

Design and implement programming, policies, and procedures to be used in daily operations so that Learning Care Group child care centers can ensure that all children are being provided the healthiest available food choices and the recommended amount of time dedicated to physical activity. This will include: eliminating sugar-sweetened beverages, increasing consumption of fruits and vegetables at every meal, eliminating fried foods, confirming that no time is being spent in front of televisions or video games and that computer use is limited to educational activity and ensuring children engage in at least 1-2 hours of physical activity daily.

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Verified Results

    • Commitment Element

      In at least 95% of centers, eat meals family-style when possible.
    • Progress To Date

      Elements of family-style meals include the following: self-serving, teachers consuming the same foods, and instruction on appropriate table manners: 99 percent of centers eat meals family-style when possible.

    • Implementation Date

      February 2017
    • Reporting Date

      March 2017
    • Commitment Element

      In at least 95% of centers, eliminate screen time for children under two years.
    • Progress To Date

      95 percent of centers eliminated screen time for children under two years.

    • Implementation Date

      February 2017
    • Reporting Date

      March 2017
    • Commitment Element

      In at least 95% of centers, for children ages two and older, serve low-fat (1%) or non-fat milk.
    • Progress To Date

      70 percent of centers serve low-fat milk, non-fat milk or none at all.

    • Implementation Date

      February 2017
    • Reporting Date

      March 2017
    • Commitment Element

      In at least 95% of centers, for children over two years of age, no more than one 4 ounce serving of 100% juice per day.
    • Progress To Date

      Juice is no longer served in Learning Care Group centers.

    • Implementation Date

      February 2017
    • Reporting Date

      March 2017
    • Commitment Element

      In at least 95% of centers, for mothers who want to continue breastfeeding, allow for the provision of mother’s milk for their children, and accommodate mothers who wish to breastfeed during the day.
    • Progress To Date

      98 percent of centers have refrigerated storage for breast milk. 92 percent of centers train staff on the proper handling of breast milk. 75 percent of centers have an area for private breastfeeding or expression of milk.

    • Implementation Date

      February 2017
    • Reporting Date

      March 2017
    • Commitment Element

      In at least 95% of centers, have policies encouraging parents and caregivers to limit quality screen time for children outside the centers to no more than 1 hour per day.
    • Progress To Date

      49 percent of centers have written policies (including parent handbooks) encouraging parents and caregivers to limit screen time for children.

    • Implementation Date

      February 2017
    • Reporting Date

      March 2017
    • Commitment Element

      In at least 95% of centers, limit screen time to no more than one hour per day for children ages two and older.
    • Progress To Date

      99 to 100 percent of centers have limited screen time to no more than one hour per day for children age 2 and older.

    • Implementation Date

      February 2017
    • Reporting Date

      March 2017
    • Commitment Element

      In at least 95% of centers, provide at least 1 hour of physical activity throughout the day, including outside play when possible.
    • Progress To Date

      88 percent of centers provide at least 1 hour of physical activity each day (including indoor or outdoor).

    • Implementation Date

      February 2017
    • Reporting Date

      March 2017
    • Commitment Element

      In at least 95% of centers, serve fruits and/or vegetables at every meal or at a minimum of two eating occasions per day.
    • Progress To Date

      95 percent of centers serve fruits and vegetables at every meal, snack or at least two minimum eating occasions per day.

    • Implementation Date

      February 2017
    • Reporting Date

      March 2017

Partner Statement

Learning Care Group is honored to be named the 2017 PHA Partner of the Year in recognition of its healthy practices. At every Learning Care Group school, the company continues to deliver on its commitment to prioritize nutrition and fitness through Grow Fit, its comprehensive healthy lifestyle initiative. Created by a registered dietician nutritionist, the Grow Fit menu now offers over 50 fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, more than 30 multi-cultural offerings, and more than 30 whole grain options. Having already eliminated all fried foods and juice from the Grow Fit menu, LCG is now in the process of converting the remaining non-whole grain offerings to whole grain. The company has now eliminated all grain-based desserts from the menu, further reducing consumption of sugar and saturated fats. As LCG continues to implement new best practices for fitness and nutrition, its advancements also are driving positive changes among other early education providers. The company has worked closely with its vendors to introduce healthier versions of child favorites such as chicken nuggets, cheese ravioli and granola – new product offerings now also served by other childcare providers. The latest nutritious new menu item to emerge from LCG’s innovative thinking is a whole grain, high-protein cracker, featured on the Grow Fit menu as the Jumping Bean cracker. Physical activity is an essential part of every school day throughout Learning Care Group. The company is now further augmenting its physical fitness curriculum with new guided activities for indoor and outdoor play. In 2017, LCG introduced its Grow Fit Yoga program for Preschool and Pre-K students. Working with the Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity, LCG completed its rigorous 36-month study of the facilitators and challenges involved with implementing a wellness initiative across a large number of childcare centers. The results will be published in the coming months.