JeAnne Faris, Trinity Lutheran Child Care Center, Kalispell, Montana
Long work hours and responsibilities at home can make it difficult for child care staff to prioritize their own health and wellness.
Incorporate movement throughout the workday.
How She Did It
JeAnne and a few others from her program attended a six-hour training on the “I am Moving, I am Learning” activity and decided to incorporate what they learned into staff meetings. Staff members now take turns leading an activity in the meeting and then trying that activity—or a modified version of it—in their classrooms.
JeAnne says her team’s new approach to movement and wellness has had wide-reaching results. Staff members are coming up with creative ideas to join learning and moving in fun and active ways. And they are modeling to the children the importance of being active and healthy. “This is important to our team as we understand the continued struggle of obesity in young children, and we hope to make a difference in their lives,” says JeAnne.
There are other benefits, too. The staff finds the increased movement to be a great stress reliever. “It seems to help in team building our staff but also helps the overall climate of our classrooms, too,” says JeAnne. Perhaps the best example happens during circle time; JeAnne reports fewer wiggly, out-of-control kids.
On JeAnne’s Wish List
Three items top the list: the ability to send more staff to the “I am Moving, I am Learning” training, additional resources to provide staff with more ideas and activities for the children, and funding for new playground equipment and ground cover.