The Gold Sneaker Initiative
The Gold Sneaker Initiative was developed to enhance policy related to health and wellness within licensed child care facilities across Tennessee.
Links for Parents
Link for Goldsneaker Facilities
Physical Activity Policy
- Policy 1.1: Children ages 12 months or older attending a full day program shall be offered at least 60 minutes of physical activity per day, either indoors or outdoors. Children attending less than a full day program shall be offered a proportional amount of such activities. For children ages three and older, this physical activity must be a balance of free play, teacher-directed activities, and music and movement. This must be documented in the daily schedule and on lesson plan forms.
- Policy 1.2: Viewing of television, videos and other visual recordings shall be limited to no more than 60 minutes per day of educational programs or programs that actively engage child movement. Children attending less than a full day program shall be limited to a proportionate amount of such viewing. This shall be stated in the individual child care facility’s policies.
- Policy 1.3: Children shall not be allowed to remain sedentary or to sit passively for more than 60 minutes continuously, except for scheduled rest or naptime. This shall be stated in the individual child care facility’s policies.
- Policy 1.4: Child care facilities must ensure physical activity is a positive experience for children and is never used negatively or to control behavior. This shall be stated in the individual child care facility’s policies.
Nutrition standards will be enhanced by including additional nutrition policies that must be addressed in order to earn Gold Sneaker recognition:
- Policy 1.5: Ensure appropriate infant and child feeding patterns, including breastfeeding. Staff will be sensitive to breastfeeding mothers and infants, and their eating patterns. Each infant will have a feeding plan on file, which is completed by the parent/parents and facility as a team to address their unique feeding patterns.
- Policy 1.6: Ensure appropriate infant and child feeding patterns, including adequate time for meal consumption. Adequate time for meals and snacks will be allowed for all children, and will be included in classroom schedules.
- Policy 1.7: Ensure appropriate infant and child feeding patterns, including appropriate portion sizes. Appropriate portion sizes will be assured through staff training and adherence to portion sizes as found in child care licensing regulations.
- Policy 1.8: All eating opportunities should consist of a respect for the child and promoting a positive attitude toward food. Food shall never be used as rewards for children. This shall be stated in the individual child care facility’s policies.
In order to ensure a healthy environment for all children the following tobacco policy must be adopted by the facility to earn Gold Sneaker recognition:
- Policy 1.9: Child care facility campus shall be tobacco free. This shall be stated in the individual child care facility’s policies.
Enactment of Policy
Participation in the Gold Sneaker Initiative is voluntary and is open to any licensed child care facility in Tennessee. All policies shall be stated in the individual child care program's policies and a copy shall be provided to the Department of Health for maintenance of the Gold Sneaker recognition. Child care programs that implement these physical activity, nutrition and tobacco policies and include staff in training will earn a "Gold Sneaker" award which designates them as a "Gold Sneaker" child care program. Such designation can be used for marketing purposes for the child care program, and local organizations will encourage parents to select such programs.
Gold Sneaker Documentation
Programs desiring “Gold Sneaker” designation will provide to the Department of Health the following documentation annually:
- A copy of the program’s policies clearly stating Gold Sneaker policies 1.1-1.9.
- A copy of the feeding plan form in use by the program demonstrating compliance with Gold Sneaker policy 1.5.
- Documentation that the director (if center-based program) and teaching staff have completed Gold Sneaker training. If the program is a family or group child care program, the provider must provide documentation of completion of training. Information on training for the Gold Sneaker initiative is available at Tennessee Child Care Online Training System (TCCOTS). In person training may be available, but is limited.
Recognition as a Gold Sneaker facility will include:
- A certificate of achievement signed by the Governor.
- Two Gold Sneaker stickers which can be placed on entrance(s) to the facility or used in promotional activities for the facility
- Access to an electronic Gold Sneaker logo to be used in materials produced by the facility
- Recognition on the following Web sites: Department of Health and the Gold Sneaker Web sites
How to sign up
Contact Joan Cook at Tennessee Department of Health - 615-253-8745 - firstname.lastname@example.org