To sustain your wellness policy, develop an Action Plan to assist you in implementing, evaluating, and monitoring your wellness policies.
An Action Plan is a starting point, not an ending to improve the quality of your program. Developing an action plan means turning ideas raised during the assessment process into reality. The Action Plan helps you and your staff implement and sustain change. The Wellness Workbook resources include Action Plan templates and samples to support you in developing your own Action Plan.
An Action Plan should include answers to questions such as; who, what, when, and how.
- What actions or changes will occur?
- What is the desired goal?
- What is needed to carry out these changes?
- What support is needed carry out the changes?
- When will we begin the process?
- When will the changes occur?
- When will we finish?
- Who is responsible for completing the action steps?
- Who has the ability to complete the action steps?
- How will the changes happen?
- How will we involve children and families?
Steps to Develop an Action Plan
Step 1: Choose a wellness policy you would like to work on
Review your Wellness Policy to identify the policy(ies) you would like to work on. The Wellness Policy provides the best practices in each content section to assist you defining and achieving a goal.
Step 2: Choose a completion date for when you would like to complete your goal
Timelines are important. It allows you to check your progress and hold yourself and others accountable for completing the action steps based on your deadline.
Step 3: Develop action steps needed to implement these changes
Outline action steps based on the policy you chose. It is helpful to include action steps in specific focus areas.
- Child – this column lists actions staff can take to encourage and guide children’s learning. Plan activities that help children learn to make healthy choices.
- Family – this column outlines ways that staff can support families in understanding the reason for making healthy changes in the program.
- Program Staff – this column details activity for staff that increase children’s learning and family support, plus their own knowledge of healthy changes.
- Program Environment – this column lists steps that will help move your program towards meeting your goal based on your environment.
Step 4: Identify Individuals responsible for completing the tasks
Each Action Step should have an individual responsible for ensuring successful completion of the task. Work with those staff who are engaged and onboard with making changes. Try using this as an opportunity to motivate staff to take the lead in making healthy changes in their program.
Step 5: Identify the resources needed to implement your policy
As you develop your Action Plan, think about what you will need to complete your steps successfully. Think about the resources you already have and those you may need to get. This will help to reduce or even eliminate costs associated with implementation.
Monitoring Your Action Plan
Once you begin implementing your Action Plan, be sure to monitor your progress. Use the Action Plan Template to document how you are doing against your goals. Intentionally tracking your program’s progress toward your goals is an important part of program monitoring. This process will help you identify challenges and solutions to making your Wellness Policy a reality.
This column is used to input all of the activities you did in your program to complete your action step. Be as specific as possible so if there are areas of improvement you will know where they occurred.
Highlight what resources you used to complete the task. This is helpful when you complete additional action steps, so you can see previous resources used and how you can use them again in other areas.
It is important to write down the challenges you faced during implementation. This is helpful as you re-evaluate your program and continue to make changes. Use the challenges you write down as a learning experience for future changes.
Successes are helpful because they tell you what worked! This is an opportunity to see how the activities worked and to think about how you can apply them to other areas.
After you have identified your activities, resources, challenges and successes, write down what you would like to do next. Look at what you have done and think of how you can continue to make changes. Next steps do not have to be permanent and you can always use the Action Plan Tracking Worksheet to monitor the effectiveness of the new steps you would like to implement.