Laurie Gill
Cabinet Secretary

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Training and Education


fit careOne in 5 children under the age of six are overweight or obese.  Plus, more are being diagnosed with obesity-related conditions that were traditionally only seen in adults – like type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure.  Child care providers are in a unique spot to help prevent childhood obesity from the start.

The fitCare initiative Best Practice Program was developed through a partnership between the SD Department of Health, SD Department of Social Services, Sanford Children’s and Sanford fit initiative.

What is fit?
The fitCare program emphasizes a holistic approach to living a healthy lifestyle and considers being fit as the ability to interplay between nutrition, physical activity, emotional management and rest to achieve a healthy lifestyle.  These four facets combine to create fit.

What is the fitCare Best Practice Program?
The fitCare Best Practice Program was developed to help South Dakota child caregivers develop and maintain a ‘healthy’ child care program environment.  Research suggests that if children start learning healthy habits at a young age, these healthy habits will most likely follow them as they grow older.

fitCare provides participants with the education and support to identify best practice to support a child’s development of healthy lifestyle habits with their programs and to plan for program improvements when needed.  fitCare provides caregivers with the knowledge and skills to:

    1. Teach the children about making healthy lifestyle choices.
    2. Educate the parents about healthy lifestyle choices in the home.
    3. Be a role model for the children in their care regarding healthy lifestyle choices.

The fitCare Practice Program consists of four steps:

  • Step 1:  8 Hours of fitCare Best Practice Instruction
  • Step 2:  Complete the fitCare Pre Self-Assessment
  • Step 3:  Action Plan and Technical Assistance                                                                                             
  • Step 4:  Complete fitCare Post Self-Assessment                                                                                            

For more information about the fitCare Best Practice program please click here

To find a class near you, caregivers are encouraged to contact their regional Early Childhood Enrichment office