Educators and Childcare Centers

Since 2004, Healthy Children, Healthy Weights (HCHW) has trained over 200 early learning centers including Head Start Centers, Columbus City Schools' Early Learning Department, and independent childcare centers. Over 12,000 children and families have been reached since it was originally piloted in the City of Columbus. In 2013, HCHW became an Ohio Department of Health Approved Nutrition Education Program is continues to be adopted by other communities around Ohio. View our program history timeline

The program was piloted in 2003-2004 and received a National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) model practice award in 2005. In 2008, The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention concluded that HCHW Child Care was both evidence-based and theoretically grounded. The curriculum aligns with Let’s Move! Child Care and is an endorsed program of the Let’s Move! Campaign. HCHW was a 2012 honorary presenter at the Weight of the Nation national conference, hosted by the CDC, and 2015 presenter at the American Public Health Association annual conference.

HCHW’s vision is that all children in Columbus have daily opportunities for active play and access to nutritious foods that lead to children entering kindergarten ready to live, learn and play at their best.


  1. Increase physical activity - Provide opportunities for at least 1-2 hours of play each day.
  2. Reduce screen time - Limit screen time to no more than 30 minutes/week during child care for children age 2 and up. No screen time for children under age 2.
  3. Establish healthy eating habits - Serve a variety of whole fruits and vegetables, offer more whole grains, avoid serving fried foods, and eat meals family style whenever possible.
  4. Promote water first for thirst - Offer water first when a child says they are thirsty and avoid sugary drinks, including flavored milks.
  5. Welcome breastfeeding - Provide a private and sanitary place for mothers to breastfeed or express milk and supply breast milk to infants of mothers who wish to breastfeed. 


Enroll to participate in the HCHW program and you will receive: 

  • Ohio Approved for Step Up to Quality training at no cost
  • Free site visits with a registered dietitian to help you:
    • Customize a healthy menu plan
    • Create a healthier environment
    • Adapt policies to sustain healthy food options and more physical activity
    • Engage parents to promote healthy habits at home
    • Become an Ohio Healthy Program
  • Additional resources to help sustain a healthy environment, such as play equipment, educational materials and more* (*resources vary depending on availability)

Contact Alyssa Dorsey for more information at 614-645-0261 or email:


Millbrook Nursery School and Kindergarten