Early Care and Education

Icon

About

The Early Care and Education (ECE) working group is a team of ECE researchers and leaders committed to improving the health of young children through improved research and practice in out‐of‐home care settings. The working group is a collaborative effort of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Healthy Eating Research (HER) and Active Living Research (ALR) programs and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Nutrition and Obesity Policy Research and Evaluation Network (NOPREN) and Physical Activity Policy Research Network (PAPRN). The HER national program office, based at Duke University and the University of Minnesota, serves as the coordinating body.

Membership in the working group is open to all with an interest in obesity prevention research and evaluation in the childcare/early childhood setting, including on topics related to nutrition, physical activity, and sedentary behaviors. The primary population of interest is children ages 0 to 5 years in a variety of out‐of‐home settings, including child care (both centers and homes), preschool, pre‐Kindergarten, and Head Start.

Mission

The mission of the ECE working group is to build a network of researchers and leaders from academia, non‐profit organizations, government, and other funding agencies to increase the amount and quality of research and evaluation in the area of childhood obesity prevention in the early care and education setting, and to support and facilitate the development and implementation of evidence‐informed policies. Special emphasis is placed on equity and addressing the needs of the lower‐income and racial/ethnic minority populations at highest risk for obesity.

 

Key Activities and Findings

Overall Goal: To bring an increased focus on nutrition, physical activity, and childhood obesity prevention research and evaluation in ECE.

ShorterTerm Goals

  1. Build a network of researchers and leaders with an interest in EC
    1. Recruit and support new investigators through collaboration in working groups, mentored leadership, building connections, and other opportunities
    2. Create opportunities for learning and collaboration (e.g., commissioned research projects, grants, publications, presentations)
    3. Share information and resources among members of the workgroup (e.g., tools, methods, intervention materials)
  1. Develop 2‐4 working group subgroups and recruit subgroup leaders
    1. Commit to a collaborative project for each subgroup
    2. Identify funding source (if appropriate) for conducting the collaborative project
    3. Engage members of the subgroups in the collaborative project
    4. Subgroup progress to be reported at a national conference
    5. Promote funding for ECE obesity prevention research and evaluation

LongerTerm Goals:

  1. Identify gaps in the ECE knowledge base
  2. Clarify a research agenda in the ECE setting to facilitate desirable changes in nutrition, physical activity, and overall child development
  3. Generate interest in research in nutrition and physical activity in ECE, by documenting and making the case for its relevance to other aspects of ECE
  4. Build evidence to support changes to ECE policies, environments, and practices
  5. Increase funding for ECE research and evaluation
  6. Increase the number of ECE researchers
  7. Increase the amount and quality of ECE research
  8. Effect change in national and state policies to improve nutrition and physical activity standards in ECE
  9. Have ECE be a setting included in NCCOR’s Catalogue of Surveillance Systems (http://tools.nccor.org/css/)

Resources

Download the ECE Overview document for more information about the work group

2016

July 2016: Click here to view the recording access PPT slides featuring Brooke Nezami’s The Smart Moms Study’ and Dipti Diev’s ‘Let’s Work Together Towards Children’s Nutrition’: Building a Bridge between Childcare Providers and Parents for Promoting Child Health

August 2016: Click here to view the recording and access PPT slides featuring Asheley Skinner’s presentation Changes in Obesity Rates for Young Children: Interpretations Using Different Data Sources and Statistical Methods and Susan Sisson’s Member Spotlight’.

September 2016: Click here to view the recording and access PPT slides featuring Jennifer Savage William’s presentation The Role of Responsive Parenting in Pediatric Obesity Prevention’

October 2016: Click here to view the recording and access PPT slides featuring Sofiya Alhassan’s presentation ‘Teacher-Led Preschool Physical Activity Interventions’ and Sabrina Adler of Change Lab Solutions ‘Member Spotlight’.

November 2016: Click here to view the recording and access PPT slides featuring Jennifer Harris’ presentation ‘Marketing for Baby and Toddler Food and Drinks: What is it Teaching Parents?’ and Krista Scott of ChildCare Aware of America on Health Equity in Early Childhood Education’.

December 2016: Click here to view the recording and access PPT slides featuring a presentation on “State Policies Governing Early Care and Education Programs”.

2017

January 2017: Click here to view the recording and access PPT slides featuring Maureen Black’s presentation ‘Advancing Early Childhood Development from Science to Scale’ and Matthew Melmed of ZERO TO THREE ‘Member Spotlight’.

February 2017: Click here to view the recording and access PPT slides featuring Yolanda Reid Chassiakos’ presentation Young Minds and the Media’ and Sallie Yoshida and Jeremiah Garza of the Sarah Samuels Center for Public Health Research and Evaluation ‘Member Spotlight’.

March 2017: Click here to view the recording and access PPT slides featuring Rafael Perez-Escamilla’s presentation ‘Feeding Guidelines for Infants and Young Toddlers: A Responsive Parenting Approach’.

May 2017: Click here to view the recording and access PPT slides featuring Christina Economos’ and Erin Hennessy’s presentation Using Systems Science to Engage Communities in Obesity Prevention: A Focus on Community Coalitions‘.

June 2017: Click here to view the recording and access PPT slides featuring Brian Timmons’, PhD, presentation on ‘Physical Activity During the Early Years: Guideline Development from a Canadian Perspective’ and Russell Pate, PhD, presenting ‘Physical Activity for Americans: Plans for Recommendations for Young Children’

July 2017: Click here to view the recording and access PPT slides featuring Megan Lott’s and Emily Welker’s presentation on Healthy Eating Research’s Early Childhood Learning Collaborative.

Contacts

ECE Working Group CoChairs

Dianne S. Ward, EdD, Professor, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Kathryn Henderson, PhD, Independent Consultant

Temitope Erinosho, PhD, Research Assistant Professor, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Natasha Frost, JD, Staff Attorney, Public Health Law Center

Dipti Dev, PhD, MS, Assistant Professor, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

_________________________________________________________________

For more information, please contact:

Megan Lott, MPH, RDN

Senior Associate, Policy and Research, RWJF Healthy Eating Research

Duke University

Megan.lott@duke.edu

_________________________________________________________________

ALR: www.activelivingresearch.org

HER: www.healthyeatingresearch.org

NOPREN: www.nopren.org

PAPRN: http://paprn.wustl.edu

Revised: 07-16