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Policy Regulations for Day Care in New York City

Potential for Public Health Impact

The findings from the Early Assessment1suggest that this policy has potential for impact in day care settings.  An extension of this project is underway to evaluate the policy’s impact on children’s diets and levels of physical activity and to determine the factors affecting implementation of the regulations.

Reach: The NYC day care policy reached approximately 116,000 children in group day care center sites. 

Effectiveness: The evidence of effectiveness is emerging for policies in this category.  A full evaluation examining the effects of the amended day care policy on nutrition and physical activity practices is in progress. The findings from the evaluation will be key to assessing the extent to which the policy components were implemented across day care centers. 

Adoption and Implementation: The policy has been implemented in 2,000 NYC day care sites since it went into effect on January 1, 2007.  All day care centers received notification of the policy change and were provided written materials to assist with adherence.  Approximately 80 percent of day care centers were trained in SPARK!, the physical activity program that supports policy adherence.  Trainings on Eat Well Play Hard, the nutrition program that supports policy adherence began prior to the end of 2007.  Acceptability of the policy by the day care directors is high. Implementation is monitored by DOHMH Bureau of Child Care staff.

Maintenance: The day care policy has been in place for three years. Given that the policy is mandatory and has political support, it likely that this public policy will be maintained.

1 Regulations for Day care in New York City participated in the Early Assessment of Programs and Policies to Prevent Childhood Obesity project, a collaborative effort of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, CDC Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity, CDC Division of Adolescent and School Health, and Macro International. The findings in this section are based on the opinion of the site visitors and derived from the Regulations for Day care in New York City Summary Report (November 2007).