Ample research shows that babies have the best chance for a healthy life when their mothers breastfeed them for a year or more. Early care and education providers can make a difference by sharing information and supporting a mother’s willingness to breastfeed. Supporting the needs of breastfeeding mothers in early care and education programs is easy.

By using the information in this self-learning module to perform the required activities, you can help give children and their mothers a life-long health benefit! This Self Learning Module is based on an online resource kit developed by the Wisconsin Partnership for Activity and Nutrition. This kit contains two important tools that centers can use to become breastfeeding friendly. To earn Professional Development credit for this module from ECELS, follow these instructions:

These five separate two hour interactive workshops are available individually or as a series.  The workshops highlight Caring for Our Children: National Health and Safety Standards using excerpts from the Caring for Our Children Video Series.

This workshop teaches early learning practitioners how to recognize and manage occupational health risks, drawing on the content in Caring for Our Children: the National Health and Safety Performance Standards. Addresses management of stress, infectious disease risks and musculo-skeletal (ergonomic) challenges intrinsic to providing child care. Includes assessment of personal and work-site health promotion strategies.

The CDC is a comprehensive source of information on public health issues, including immunization, sanitation, and infectious disease. The CDC provides a large library of information to the public on many topics. Some of the categories include: Diseases and Conditions; Emergency Preparedness & Response; Environmental Health; Life Stages & Populations; Healthy Living, Injury, Violence & Safety; Traveler's Health; Workplace Safety & Health. The CDC website includes a powerful search engine as well as alphabetical listings. Users will find fact sheets, videos, photos, posters, and other useful materials to download.

With permission from the California Training Institute, Susan S. Aronson, MD updated the Child Care Health Advocate curriculum reading material in the Nutrition and Physical Activity module. The first edition module, dated 2006, is available online at The  Pennsylvania update of the California chapter includes the content of standards from the third edition of Caring for Our Children. The updated chapter is required reading for the college credit-bearing Child Care Health Advocate Course now taught at Northampton Community College as an online course. Reviewers were: Bobbie Rose, RN, Child Care Health Consultant for the California Childcare Health Program, and Kristen Copeland, MD, Cincinnati Children's Hospital for the material that cited her work. Reviewed and reaffirmed 11/2012

Learn reasons and rationale for arranging for the services of a Child Care Health Consultant (CCHC). Explain the role of the CCHC and identify resources for help in locating a CCHC. View video segments accessible online. If you are unable to view the segments online, you can request a DVD that includes them by contacting ECELS.

Federal law requires that the publication called "Dietary Guidelines for Americans" must be reviewed, updated as necessary and published every 5 years. The 2020-2025 guidelines development process is underway now.  The guidelines emphasize calorie balance to achieve and sustain a healthy weight, as well as a focus on nutrient-dense foods and beverages. Policy-makers use these guidelines to develop educational materials and carry out nutrition-related programs. Use the weblink, Dietary Guidelines, to access the website of the United States Department of Agriculture for the current guidelines. Reviewed and reaffirmed 5/2018

Children over 12 months of age and all adults should drink water. Clean, safe water helps all parts of the body work well. Choose water instead of sugar sweetened or carbonated beverages. Water has no sugar, fat, or calories. Drinking water for thirst  helps prevent obesity. 

Drinking water should be available indoors and outdoors all day. Milk is a fluid food. Milk should be served at meals or snacks where it is planned as part of the recommended intake for the child. Having ready access to drinking water is especially important on hot days except for infants. Infants who receive human milk or formula should receive extra human milk or formula, not water. Children should learn to drink water from a cup or, without mouthing the fixture, drink from a fountain as they can master these skills. Offer water as often as once an hour. No child should be allowed to have water by sucking continuously on a bottle or Sippy cup as it may interfere with proper nutrition. It is best to have children brush their teeth after at least one feeding. When children who have teeth eat and do not brush their teeth afterward, they should have a drink of water to rinse the food from their teeth. Reviewed and reaffirmed 7/2018.