The first childcare settings in Leicestershire to achieve Healthy Tots Status have been announced.
With an aim to support and enhance the health and wellbeing of children under 5, Healthy Tots Award Status is recognition from Leicestershire County Council’s Health Improvement team that the childminder, playgroup, preschool or nursery is committed to ensuring every child has the best start in life, by meeting certain standards set out within the programme.
To achieve Healthy Tots Status childcare settings, including the staff or childminder, have worked to show they have successfully embedded a whole setting approach around four core health themes: healthy eating, oral health, emotional wellbeing and physical activity. These four themes have been highlighted as a priority for early years by the county council’s Health Improvement Team.
Each setting has worked for around 12 months, following the programme’s relaunch in April 2022, to show their commitment and success as part of the requirements to meet Healthy Tots Status.
The children at each setting will benefit from the programme by taking part in fun and engaging activities that help them understand the importance of each of the four key themes which are appropriately tailored for young minds.
Promoting interactive play, providing parents with healthy eating messages as well as supporting children by providing spaces for quiet time to promote positive mental wellbeing are just some of the example activities settings are using to support children.
Educating and inspiring young audiences in Leicestershire with the tools to make healthy and informed decisions for the future is hoped to improve the health and wellbeing and to help prevent health inequalities through this early education.
Smiles Day Nursery, based in Sapcote, were the first nursery setting to achieve Healthy Tots Status, along with local childminders Susan Wetherby and Louise Barney, based in Newbold Verdon, who also spent a year to achieve their new status.
Melissa Vaissiere from Smiles Day Nursey said: “We are so proud to see Smiles Day Nursery achieve Healthy Tots status. The programme was really straight forward, and everything was set out in such a clear, understanding way.
“We have found that taking part in the healthy tots programme has benefited our children including working to educate them about different foods, such as finding out what is healthy and what is not so healthy.
“Our children have also been getting plenty of physical activity with daily walks and regular park visits as well as increasing their oral hygiene confidence, including role playing as dentists and supervised brushing at nursery which encourages them to brush their teeth at home.”
We are absolutely delighted to see the first handful of local childcare settings achieving Healthy Tots Status. Programmes like Healthy Tots enables us to educate our future residents of Leicestershire from a young age and give them the knowledge to make informed choices to help them be as healthy as they can be.
“I would like to personally congratulate all the settings that have achieved this status, a lot of work and commitment has gone into achieving this Healthy Tots Status and it will be great to see our children benefiting directly from their care providers.
“I’d encourage any childcare setting interested in using the Healthy Tots programme to access the free resources on our website. Person:Cllr Louise Richardson, cabinet member for health and wellbeing
Childcare settings can use the free suite of accessible recourses to help shape their own plans and activities across the four key themes of Healthy Tots Status. Visit www.leicestershirehealthytots.org.uk/healthy-tots-status to find out more.