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Early Care and Education

Early Care and Education (ECE)

The Montana Nutrition and Physical Activity Program (NAPA) recognizes that childhood nutrition and physical activity are public health issues. NAPA is supporting Montana Early Care and Education facilities and personnel as they work to promote healthier food choice and implement physical activity into daily routines.


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What are Early Care and Education (ECE) facilities?

Early Care and Education (ECE) facilities are different types of programs families can access for services such as family child care, preschools, Head Start, Pre-K classrooms and other early childhood programs. Montana has 992 ECE facilities, with the capacity to serve over 19,000 kids.

Early intervention is critical. Youth who are obese are likely to be obese as adults which puts them at greater risk for adult health problems such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, several types of cancer and osteoarthritis. Childhood obesity has more than doubled in children (6-11 years old) and quadrupled in adolescents (12-19 years old) in the past 30 years.

What is NAPA doing to address the burden?

In conjunction with many Early Care and Education partners around the state, NAPA is offering specific nutrition and physical activity curriculum and trainings, including:

  • Conducting ‘I am Moving, I am Learning’ (IMIL) Training-A proactive approach for addressing childhood obesity by increasing daily moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA), improving the quality of movement activities intentionally planned and facilitated by adults, and promoting healthy food choices every day.
  • Partnering with Early Care and Education work group and Child Care Training to create and promote online training opportunities focused on improved nutrition and physical activity opportunities. As web-based training are available they will be posted on this website.