The City of Boise will host two open houses this month on the Boise Healthy Child Care Initiatives, a set of proposed changes to the City’s child care ordinance aimed at improving health and reducing childhood obesity. Child care providers and the public are encouraged to attend to get more information on the proposed changes and provide comments.
OPEN HOUSE #1
9:30 a.m., Saturday, April 12
Main Library Hayes Auditorium
715 S. Capitol Blvd.
OPEN HOUSE #2
7 p.m., Monday, April 14
Cole & Ustick Library
7557 W. Ustick Road
The proposed changes would establish benchmarks for nutrition, the amount of daily physical activity, and the amount of screen time that children receive each day while in the care of a city-licensed child care facility. The ordinance would also establish that space be provided onsite for infant nursing. Research shows these are the principal drivers of childhood obesity.
Additionally, the city will discuss potential modifications regarding worker-to-child ratios and additional training requirements for child care providers at these open houses. The city is working in coordination with Central District Health Department and the Idaho Association for the Education of Young Children on these proposals.
If approved, implementation of the new requirements would be done primarily through training and education. Licensees would undergo training when applying for a license to ensure understanding of the new guidelines. While healthy initiatives training would be a requirement for licensing, any facility that doesn’t comply with a healthy initiative would not be cited. However, lack of compliance will be noted on the city’s online child care provider list so that parents can easily determine which local providers are using the new guidelines.
The city will use information gathered at the open houses to determine the next steps for the proposed changes.