The Nemours Early Care and Education Learning Collaborative

At a Glance

What: The National Early Care and Education Learning Collaborative aims to spread sustainable policy and practice improvements in early care and education (ECE) programs to prevent childhood obesity. The project assists ECE providers to improve the quality of care they provide to young children with respect to nutrition, breastfeeding support, physical activity and screen time.

Why: Research supports the need to provide healthy eating and active living choices and environments for children at young ages to prevent the spread of the childhood obesity epidemic in the United States.

Who: The collaborative involves 810 programs in six states: Arizona, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri and New Jersey. The goal is to reach 81,000 children the first year.

When: October 2012-September 2013

Funder/Partners: This project is funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and is in partnership with Nemours, a child health organization offering pediatric clinical care, research, education, advocacy and prevention programs in the communities it serves and nationwide.


An estimated 27 percent of children ages 2-5 year old in the United States are overweight or obese and obesity impacts about 12 million children who regularly spend time in ECE settings. Childhood obesity has both immediate and long-term effects on health. According to the CDC, obese children are more likely to be at risk for cardiovascular disease, prediabetes, bone and joint problems, sleep apnea and other social and psychological problems.

Project Overview

The ECE Learning Collaborative builds on a proven model that has been tested and implemented by Nemours in Delaware with successful outcomes in ECE programs. The six states chosen for the ECE Collaborative have obesity rates of 14 percent or higher for children under 5 and a combined population of approximately 3.1 million children ages birth to four years old.
NICHQ is providing technical assistance, strategic guidance, and faculty expertise in ECE and public health, as well as assisting with collaborative quality improvement, outreach, recruitment, and expansion for the project. This project will work closely with key stakeholders at the local, state and national levels to develop and bring a learning collaborative model to a national scale. Through group trainings, teams from ECE programs will learn how to implement the Let’s Move! Child Care best practices and standards outlined in the Caring for Our Children: National Health and Safety Performance Standards - Guidelines for Early Care and Education Programs. Teams will also learn how to increase the proportion of young children attending programs that meet those criteria.

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