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Purple FlowerLauren Zerkovich  Nutrition & Wellness Coordinator      530.668.3007

Head Start Wellness

The Yolo County Office of Education Head Start/Early Head Start Program (YCOE HS-EHS) under the direction of the Yolo County Office of Education (YCOE) recognizes that the health and well-being of the children in our care play a critical role in their ability to learn and to enter the school system ready to learn.  It is also the belief of YCOE and YCOE HS-EHS that a healthy staff will more effectively perform their duties and has the unique responsibility to provide the children and families that we serve with the skills, knowledge, and support that they need to establish healthy behaviors that will serve them for the rest of their lives.  A comprehensive well planned and well-implemented nutrition program coupled with healthy lifestyle promotion for children, families, and staff has a positive influence on the reduction of chronic disease.  This policy encourages a holistic approach to children, family, and staff wellness that is sensitive to individual and community needs.

Drinking water, tooth brushing, and hand washing facilities are conveniently available to child drinking waterchildren.  Tooth brushing is promoted and encouraged following the consumption of meals.  Hand washing by children and staff is required before consumption of meals.

Staff is discouraged from using food as a reward and is prohibited from using food as punishment for any child in our care. 

Physical Activity: The YCOE HS-EHS Program provides the opportunity for children including children with disabling conditions to be physically active in a safe environment. Our curriculum uses developmentally appropriate components to enable children to achieve a health-enhancing level of physical fitness. The classroom and outdoor play environment offer children a multitude of choices for a wide variety of healthy physical activities as well as including the opportunity for self-expression and personal challenges. Our curriculum and environment build on the awareness of the children relative to their physical abilities and improves their self-confidence. Outdoor play is offered daily unless unusual weather conditions prohibit outdoor play.

Healthy and Safe Environment: A healthy and safe environment supports school success.  Safer communities promote healthier children and families. School building and grounds, play structures, and play equipment will meet all current health and safety standards.  Buildings and grounds will be routinely monitored to ensure ongoing safe environments.  Safety procedures and appropriate training for children, families, and staff will support personal safety at all times.

Social and Emotional Well-Being: Programs and services that support and value the social and emotional well-being of children, families, and staff build a healthy school environment.  Each center and work site shall strive to create an environment where children, families, and staff are respected and valued.  A supportive environment that includes observation, guidance, and social work services will be encouraged at all centers and work sites to provide families and staff with the knowledge to request assistance when needed and to link them with community resources.