Voncyle Wilson, owner of Wilson Family Child Care, is one course away from getting her associate's degree in early childhood education. But participating in the ECE Learning Collaborative added to her education and the way she operates her family day care home in a positive way. “Healthy eating, physical activity, and healthy living is very important for the kids, the heart, myself, everyone,” says Ms. Wilson.
Through participating in the collaborative. Ms. Wilson developed an action plan to increase fruits, vegetables, and whole grains on her menus, and to eliminate fried foods. “My menus no longer have fatty meats, fried foods, or chocolate chip cookies. I prepare baked chicken now, and it tastes good!” says Ms. Wilson. “The food preparation we did in the classes was a great experience.” One of the popular dishes from those experiences was fruit with yogurt, which has become very popular with the children.
Ms. Wilson also increased the variety of outdoor activities with the children. “They have mats where they can do different movements, but they also climb, get on the see saw, and push the lawn mower. We took a field trip to the zoo and did a lot of walking. Everyone was tired, but the children loved seeing the animals, so it was fun.”
The healthy changes that Ms. Wilson is making at her day care home are not yet done. She’ll be putting in a garden later in the year and will be trying to implement family-style dining despite some of the challenges when children spill their milk. “And I’m changing our parent handbook to include more health information.”
Ms. Wilson summarized her experience by saying, “Participating in the collaborative was an awesome experience. I loved the videos and demonstrations, and having the opportunity to prepare foods. Plus the fellowship of meeting other providers and getting new ideas was wonderful.”
Information provided by interview with:
Wilson Family Child Care