Regularly monitor your Wellness Policy to understand what is working well and where you could continue to improve.
For a Wellness Policy to support long-term improvements, be sure to regularly monitor and evaluate it. A good evaluation plan does not need to be a burden for the ECE providers or others involved. Evaluation is important for the following reasons:
- Routine monitoring helps the program periodically check how well policies are being managed and supported.
- It can help reinforce the policies with ECE providers.
- It helps keep the policies up-to-date through making needed changes.
- These changes can improve how the program operates and can be added in order to reflect new research, regulations and best practices.
- The process will include finding out how satisfied children, families, teachers and ECE providers are with the new policies.
To help make sure a new policy is being followed, programs need procedures and a schedule for monitoring the use of the policy. All early childhood providers should be aware of this monitoring. Monitoring should include:
- Routinely observing providers to see if daily practices meet the policy requirements.
- Regular training and guidance for early childhood providers on following the policies.
- Measure changes in breastfeeding support and promotion, infant feeding, nutrition, physical activity and screen time practices. This can include an early childhood provider survey, a parent survey, and observation of children’s eating and activity behaviors.
- Identify areas where policies are being carried out well and areas where they are not, as well as reasons why. Consider completing a self-assessment again to see how you may have approved from your initial assessment results.
Based on how well policies are put into place, opportunities for improvement will appear. In addition, new research and regulations may impact your policies concerning breastfeeding support, infant feeding, nutrition, physical activity and screen time.
The review process helps an early childhood program reprioritize program needs and develop a plan of action. It also allows the program to communicate policies and expected practices to early childhood providers and families.