Elements of HWTG
While HWTG can be scaled to meet any program’s needs, there are key required elements which define the program.
The Health & Wellness Plan includes a self-assessment to provide center directors with an opportunity to assess current practices and policies.
The Action Plan is a guide early childhood programs create in collaboration with the HWTG Technical Assistance Trainer, as they begin making practice and policy changes in their programs. The Action Plan can be used to help think about action steps, resources, materials, persons responsible, and desired completion date.
What is a Wellness Policy and its components?
A wellness policy is a set of statements around the specific practices promoted in early childhood program. The day-to-day practices in programs play a key role in helping children develop healthy eating and physical activity habits.
Components of a wellness policy include:
1. Goals and standards for:
- Nutritional practices (how infants and children will be fed at your program) and education
- Physical activity practices and education, including screen time
- Other program-based activities, including those that promote workplace wellness
2. An evaluation plan to monitor and measure its effectiveness
Why does an early childhood program need a Wellness Policy?
Defining programs policies around day-to-day practices can:
- Communicate core values and principles regarding healthy habits to early childhood providers, families and the community;
- Help early childhood programs and families act as role models for children by practicing healthy habits;
- Set a standard that is clear and consistent; and
- Help guide those teaching children about the importance of healthy habits.
In the HWTG model, technical assistance (TA) is guided by the program’s ECE Health & Wellness Plan, wellness policies, action plan and individual needs of the program.
Technical assistance should focus on:
- Building positive, trusting and respectful relationships
- Methods of content delivery
- Needs and resources of the program
- Strategy for sustainability of new policies
Early Childhood Programs will receive monthly newsletters from the HWTG Support Team to share with families and staff. These newsletters provide content to support healthy habits and practices. The newsletters are a great way to get families and staff involved. The newsletters include: fun, healthy recipes; movement activities; book recommendations; and classroom activities.
As a way to celebrate accomplishments, we encourage centers to participate in the HWTG Center Recognition Program. This program is a way to recognize all the healthy changes made in a center. The HWTG Support Team offers a HWTG Recognition webinar to provide more information. The HWTG Support Team will review a center’s application and award a recognition level (Gold, Silver or Bronze).
ECE Health & Wellness Plan
The Health & Wellness Plan is a tool used to guide development of wellness policies for ECE programs. The Health & Wellness Plan includes a self-assessment providing ECE Directors with an opportunity to assess current practices and policies. The Plan can be completed in its entirety, individually or with program staff.