Health and Nutrition

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At the Department of Early Learning, we believe nurturing all aspects of a child's health is important as they grow and develop during the first years of life. Making sure that children have access to high-quality, ongoing physical, mental, and oral health care is one of the best ways that parents and caregivers can keep children healthy and ready to learn. This section offers information and resources about how to keep children healthy, help children learn how to take care of themselves, and prevent many of the childhood diseases around the world today.

Healthiest Next Generation Initiative

Every child deserves to grow up healthy. Unfortunately some experts believe that, for the first time, the current generation of children may have shorter lives than their parents. Recognizing that Washington’s future depends on the health of our children, Governor Jay Inslee launched the Healthiest Next Generation (HNG) Initiative to help make our next generation the healthiest ever. The goal is to help our children maintain a healthy weight, enjoy active lives and eat and drink healthfully by making changes in early learning settings, schools and communities.  Read More >

Let's get moving! Physical activity for young children

Making sure that young children and their families have plenty of opportunities to get moving is a key element in keeping children healthy and ready to learn.  Read More >

Nutrition

  • Whether you are a parent looking for a fun activity to spark a child's interest in eating vegetables, an adult educator looking for a parent-led project, or a preschool teacher connecting classroom lessons to home, we have some tools and links for you. 
  • Licensed child care settings (center-based care, family home child care, and school-age child care programs) have nutrition, menu planning and food safety requirements. Learn more about these rules and requirements.

Healthy kids, healthy communities

Ensuring all children have access to ongoing, high-quality health care is essential to their development and well-being. Read More >

Safe sleep

Learn about SIDS and other sleep-related causes of infant death; what you can do to reduce the risk of SIDS with recommendations by the American Academy of Pediatrics, focusing on a safe sleep environment.  Read More >

Childhood Disease Prevention and Health Promotion

Staying healthy is very important in the lives of families, children, and communities.  Read More >

Information on seasonal influenza

Flu season usually runs from October to March. There are many resources and information for parents, child care providers and people who work in other early childhood settings to plan for flu season. Read More >

Ebola fact sheets

The state Department of Health has developed a fact sheet about Ebola, available in English and Spanish.