Between August 2019 and July 2020, Well-Ahead Louisiana piloted a cohort of child care centers to train and implement their staff in the Coordinated Approach to Child Health (CATCH) program. By uniting multiple players in a child’s life to create a community of health, CATCH is proven to prevent childhood obesity and is supported by 25 years and 120 academic papers indicating as much as an 11% decrease in overweight and obesity.
Nineteen teachers and directors from 14 child care centers across the state participated in the CATCH cohort and received not only trainings on nutrition and physical activity but also picture cards, hand puppets, scarves, beanbags, cones, spot marks and hula hoops.
The child care centers were able to be flexible and creative in implementing their new tools. For example, Robert Head Start in Tangipahoa Parish chose to use the CATCH physical activity resources to increase indoor physical activity time. Meanwhile, In Loving Arms Early Learning Center in Baton Rouge set a goal of increasing adult-led physical activity time to 60 minutes. Teachers now spend 30 minutes outdoors using the CATCH curriculum, and they have incorporated a 15-minute music and movement time indoors as well as a 15-minute stretching and moving time before the children’s nap.