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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - The South Carolina
Department of Social Services will announce new standards for child care
facilities statewide today in the effort to fight childhood obesity.
DSS officials say for years they've had a
program for child care facilities called 'ABC Quality' which helps outline
specific standards in child care. Now DSS has established new standards when it
comes to how the same facilities address nutrition and physical activity
through what's called ‘ABC Grow Healthy.'
While the new standards are voluntary, DSS
officials say the recommendations will be made to more than 1370 facilities
that watch children ages 12 and younger. They say the standards will include
things like not serving sugar-sweetened drinks and providing 90 to 120 minutes
of daily outdoor play, weather permitting.
DSS officials say in addition to helping the
facility, they hope the standards will help parents, too. "We're also wanting
parents to know what to look for in their child care facility regarding
nutrition," said Leigh Bolick, the Director of Child Care Services for DSS. "Do
they post nutrition policies? How much outdoor activity do they have? So
everything we do, we want parents to have all of the information at their
disposal to make really good choices about their facility," said Bolick.
DSS officials say the new standards are less
about cost and more about improving the way facilities use their resources to
address nutrition or physical activity. However DSS says they will establish
small grants that would help facilities best implement the new standards.
The announcement of the new standards was scheduled for 11 a.m. at La Petite Academy off of Clemson Road.