Physical Activity in the Child Care Setting

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MSDH's Physical Activity in the Child Care Setting (PACCS) initiative is working to reduce the high prevalence of obesity among 2- to 5-year-olds by developing guidances and standards for child care facilities to improve their physical activity and nutrition environments.

Childhood Obesity and Child Care

In 2007–2008, 10% of children nationwide ages 2 to 5 years were obese; in Mississippi, about 20% of children ages 3 to 5 are overweight. Increasingly, children in this age range are spending their days in child care settings, and receive the majority of their meals and exercise there. Improving the physical activity opportunities offered by child care providers is one approach to preventing childhood obesity.

About the Initiative

Mississippi already has nationally-recognized standards for child care regarding nutrition, outdoor exposure, and limits on screen time. PACCS is working to further these standards via:

  • State policy: PACCS is developing a statewide policy requiring daily, structured physical activity in child care and after-school facilities.
  • Action guide: PACCS is working with the CDC to develop an Action Guide for child care facilities that will help them work toward improved environments for physical activity, and provide guidance and model programs for change at the regulation, administrative and policy levels.
  • Direct assistance: PACCS is a partner in Allies for Quality Care program which works directly with selected child care centers to improve their learning environment and nutritional quality.

Resources for Child Care Facilities

Related Links


Last reviewed on Mar 13, 2024 request edits

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Mississippi State Department of Health 570 East Woodrow Wilson Dr Jackson, MS 39216 866‑HLTHY4U Contact and information

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