All children, no matter where they live or receive child care, deserve healthy food and time for active play. Teaching kids healthy habits at a young age nurtures optimal growth and development and sets them up for a lifetime of healthy choices.

A Blueprint for Kentucky’s Children bill that is moving this 2020 legislative session aims to reinforce these ideas and provide nurturing environments for children in child care centers across the state. Senate Bill 45, sponsored by Senator Danny Carroll, outlines health standards for licensed child care centers in Kentucky including: 

– Aligning nutrition standards for centers that serve food with the meal and snack patterns outlined in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP).

– Establishing standards for healthy drinks in child care centers to include water, unflavored low- or non-fat milk, and 100% fruit juice.

– Continuing to limit screen time in child care centers to 30 minutes for half-day programs and one hour for full-day programs. No screen time for children under age 2.

– Promoting active play and moderate to vigorous physical activity. Provide a minimum of one hour per day for full-day programs and 30 minutes per day for half-day programs.

In November 2019, Kentucky Youth Advocates conducted a survey of child care centers (below) across the state and received over 370 responses about centers’ current practices on healthy drinks, active play and screen time. We know that child care centers are providing optimal learning environments and helping kids grow up strong. This bill will help to standardize the practices in child care centers across the Commonwealth and ensure centers continue providing healthy environments for kids.

All centers will be required to implement the meal patterns in the CACFP, but no center will be required to join the CACFP program. The nutrition standards outlined are specific to centers that provide food for the children that attend, but the healthy drink, screen time and physical activity standards will apply to all centers.

SB 45 passed the Senate Health and Welfare Committee and the Senate floor. This bill is now awaiting a hearing in the House Health and Family Services Committee.

Stay up-to-date on SB 45 and other Blueprint for Kentucky’s Children priorities that are good for kids on our Kentucky General Assembly Bill Tracker.