Program Goals: The Tennessee Department of Health’s (TDH) “Gold Sneaker Initiative” contributes to the TDH mission to protect, promote and improve the health and prosperity of people in Tennessee. Through Gold Sneaker, licensed Tennessee childcare centers have the opportunity to improve the health of the children in their care by adopting voluntary policies around tobacco, appropriate nutrition, and physical activity. Childcare programs that implement the policies earn Gold Sneaker awards and are designated ‘Gold Sneaker’ childcare facilities. Participating childcare facilities agree to abide by four policies that promote physical activity, four policies that promote healthy eating and appropriate nutrition standards, and agree to create a tobacco-free campus. In exchange for their participation, facilities receive an incentive package containing $200 worth of physical activity equipment and nutrition resources, a certificate signed by the Governor, access to an electronic Gold Sneaker logo that may be used in marking and promotional materials, Gold Sneaker decals for facility doors, a Gold Sneaker newsletter, and recognition on the Gold Sneaker web page. Local community partners encourage families to use Gold Sneaker designated facilities. Evaluation: Since its inception in 2008, the Gold Sneaker Initiative has engaged 504 childcare facilities in the program with an impact upon more than 29,500 Tennessee children. There are currently 447 active Gold Sneaker designees across Tennessee with 26,579 children currently enrolled. Discussion: Funding for the Gold Sneaker Initiative was obtained through the State Public Health Action to Prevent and Control Diabetes, Heart Disease, Obesity and Associated Risk Factors and Promote School Health grant from the CDC and has allowed for a dedicated program manager as well as the purchasing of program materials. With Gold Sneaker in its 9th year, it has been determined that a re-designation process is needed to ensure the continued engagement of current Gold Sneaker designated childcare facilities. Re-designation training will offer the opportunity for childcare staff to refresh program policy skills and obtain technical assistance, where needed. This process will begin in 2017 and will ensure that participating facilities are consistent in keeping with current Gold Sneaker policies as well as adopting new policies around promotion of tobacco cessation services in Tennessee and safe sleep standards.
- Copyright © 2018 by the American Academy of Pediatrics