Teacher's Corner

Resources for school age and pre-school educators, Grant information and Links to resources.

It Starts With Early Child Care

Why Early Childhood and Child Care?

As children age their habits solidify and become much more difficult to change. Good nutrition and plenty of physical activity are key to a young child’s growth and development.  The early years of childhood  – from birth to age 5 – is a critical period for the development of these healthy behaviors that can have a lifelong impact on a child’s quality of life.

Many children are in a childcare setting, often for several hours each day. Because of this, the child care environment and providers play an important role in helping the children in their care develop healthy eating and physical activity habits that will last a lifetime.

What We Do
The goal of Let’s Go!’s Early Childhood work is to bring about environmental and policy changes that support healthy eating and physical activity. We aim to do this in multiple settings that reach children from birth to age 5.

Because Let’s Go!’s Early Childhood efforts focus on child care settings, the program is called 5-2-1-0 Goes to Child Care. Let’s Go! uses this program to support child care providers in raising a healthier generation of children. 5-2-1-0 Goes to Child Care is based upon the ten key strategies listed below, and uses a 6-step process to guide child care programs in creating an environment that supports healthy eating and physical activity for the children in their care.

- See more at:

Young children learn from choices that adults make. Find out what Linda Carson had to say at the FOCUS Childhood Development Confernce. This nationally known speaker was sponsered by the Kankakee Pioneering Healthier Communites organization  - Check our vimeo channel for a video of the entire presentation at What can we do to prevent the children we serve from becoming victims of sedentary lifestyles? What can we do now to promote healthy preferences early in life so this generation of children will not need expensive medical interventions in middle school or middle age? Experience the strategies, messages, and lively music that will energize and motivate you to re-visit what your program can do to promote active learning, healthy habits, and movement competence. See examples of how intentional planning and facilitation of movement experiences during the normal routines of your day can complement other domains of learning. Become acquainted with current guidelines for preschool physical activity and best practice for movement instruction that can be applied to early childhood programs with limited budgets and limited space. Return home as a health hero for young children.

Let’s Go! works in six areas to reach families where they live, learn, work and play to reinforce the importance of healthy eating and physical activity. We’ve created programs specific to these areas: Early Childhood (Child Care)SchoolsAfter SchoolWorkplace, and Healthcare.

The 5210 message (5 or more fruits and vegetables, 2 hours or less of recreational screen time, 1 hour or more of physical activity and 0 sugary drinks, more water and low fat milk a day) is used consistently across all of the program areas.

- See more at:

Over the past three decades, childhood obesity rates in America have tripled. Today, almost one in every three children in our nation is obese or overweight. The numbers are even higher in African American and Hispanic communities, where nearly 40% of the children are overweight or obese. If we don’t solve this problem, one third of all children born in 2000 or later will suffer from diabetes at some point in their lives. Many others may face chronic obesity-related health problems like heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer and asthma. 

Everyone has a role to play in reducing childhood obesity, including elected officials from all levels of government, schools, health care professionals, faith-based and community-based organizations, and private sector companies. Your involvement is key to ensuring a healthy future for our children.

The Let’s Move! initiative has instituted various programs across the country to mobilize each of these sectors to become involved in solving the problem of childhood obesity nationwide. These programs, highlighted below, work in collaboration with the overall goals of Let’s Move! by offering solutions and ways that each sector that plays a role can start making changes around this issue. Let’s Move! Program Factsheet.

LiveHealthyKankakeeCounty brought Linda Carson to the Focus Development Conference held at Kankakee Community College as part of our kick off in the community. If you would like to see her presentation check out our vimeo channel that captured the entire presentation from Linda Carson, and its available to you free to watch.

Who is Linda?

Linda Carson, Ed.D., has devoted her career to promoting healthy preferences for young children and the adults who make decisions on their behalf. She is the founder and CEO of Choosy Kids, LLC, a company which develops healthy preferences early in life. Choosy Kids ( provides professional development training and educational resources to early care and education both in the United States and internationally. Carson is the Ware Distinguished Professor Emerita at West Virginia University. 

A former director of the Motor Development Center, Carson earned recognition for involving family members as play partners after developng innovative learning laboratories for WVU students and award winning physical activity programs for children from infants to elementary school-age. Carson has written award-winning children’s music and other resource materials with health messages showcasing her influential children’s character, “Choosy.” Early educators and child care providers use Choosy to enhance their efforts at promoting healthy habits, and more recently, dentists and pediatraians have included Choosy to complement their patient education efforts to emphasize the importance of healthy behaviors and choices. 

Carson has served as an expert trainer for the obesity prevention initiatives, “I Am Moving, I Am Learning” and “Little Voices for Healthy Choices,” launched nationwide by the Office of Head Start. She served on the leadeship team of “WV Games for Health,” a series of statewide projects that demonstrated significant changes in the health indicators of obese children as a result of playing active video games. Carson currently serves on the advisory board of Head Start Body Start National Center for Physical Development and Outdoor Play. 

Page 1 of 2