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Policy Regulations for Day Care in New York City

Underlying Theory/Evidence

Strategies Used1

There is evidence that increasing access to and number of places for physical activity and decreasing screen time and other sedentary behaviors are effective strategies to increase physical activity and improving other physical activity-related outcomes. Reviews of the evidence suggest that combining this strategy with informational strategies, such as promotion or education, and/or social support strategies may increase its effectiveness.  The NYC day care policy includes the following provisions aimed at increasing access to places for physical activity and decreasing screen time:

  • Sufficient play equipment shall be made available in the indoor and outdoor play areas that are appropriate to the stage of development of the children.
  • Play equipment shall enable all children to engage in structured and guided physical activities. 
  • Television, video, and visual recordings are limited to 60 minutes per day of educational programming for children 2 years or older
  • Television, video, and visual recordings are not permitted for children under 2 years of age

There is evidence that changing access and availability to favor healthy foods and beverages is effective in increasing healthy eating in a variety of settings and with diverse populations. Increasing the availability of healthy foods encompasses those intervention methods aimed at increasing the number and/or types of healthy food items wherever food is available. Such strategies include, among others, developing and implementing policies on the availability of healthy food items.   The NYC day care policy includes the following policy provisions aimed at increasing the availability of healthy foods in group day care settings:

  • Beverages with added sweeteners shall not be provided to children.
  • No more than 6 ounces of 100% juice shall be provided to children over eight months of age per day.
  • Children ages two and older shall be served 1% or less milk fat.
  • Water shall be made available and easily accessible to children throughout the day.

1 A full description of the intervention strategies used can be found here with references to the sources of evidence to support the strategies.