Creating a healthy environment in early childhood services can help children learn, play and reach their full potential.
Camperdown Kindergarten in southwestern Victoria is supporting this by championing the mantra, ‘healthy children learn better’, inspiring its progression in the Achievement Program.
Recently, Camperdown Kindergarten received Victorian Government recognition through the Achievement Program for the health priority area Tobacco, Alcohol and other Drugs, joining the list of recognitions the kindergarten has received for best-practice approaches to Healthy Eating and Oral Health, Sun Protection and Mental Health and Wellbeing.
The kinder implemented an innovative strategy aimed to enhance health outcomes and better inform the community about the negative health impacts of smoking, which claims about 4,400 Victorian lives each year (see page 35). This brought about powerful policy changes and new practices at the centre, as well as engaging the community.
The kindergarten’s healthy journey saw the inception of ‘Fresh Air Day’ a fun-filled event celebrating the pleasure of breathing clean air. The day involved a smelling station, breathing mediation games and a focus on meaningful relationships. Momentum continued with healthy reminders around the kinder about the negative health impacts of smoking, a review of policies and a confidential support service for staff to access tailored care if required.
The kindergarten’s commitment to making healthy changes was implemented with the help of Health Promotion Officer, Alexandra Bell, who said the kindergarten has shaped positive behaviour change in this important health area.
“It’s been fantastic to see an incredibly motivated setting that has a passion for developing creative ways of meeting Achievement Program measures,” Ms Bell said.
You can read more about Camperdown Kindergarten’s journey here. Early childhood services can start making healthy changes by implementing the Achievement Program’s best-practice framework. For more info on the Achievement Program, visit the website. Further guidance for reducing tobacco related harm is available for early childhood settings and schools, and other settings.