Partners of the Plan News:
Recent Policy Changes Encourage Physical Activity for Young Children

Recent changes in the Washington Administrative Code (WAC) for school age child care ensure that children will spend less time in front of the television and have more time for outdoor activity. The new regulations that went into effect in December strengthened screen time restrictions and physical activity requirements. The new WACs are much stronger than those for family home child care homes and child care centers.

Policies supporting increased physical activity include:

  • No more than one hour per week of screen time with an exception made for homework assignments. (WAC 170-297-6675)
  • New rules for physical activity are in line with national recommendations for at least 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity per 3 hours of child care. (WAC 170-297-6575)

The expert physical activity recommendations for the school age group came from the National AfterSchool Association standards for Physical Activity in Out-of-School Time Programs, based on the 2008 Department of Health and Human Services guidelines. See the standards.) Caring for Our Children sets an even higher standard for physical activity; it recommends a minimum of 60 to 90 minutes of outdoor play per day along with a minimum of one to two hours of moderate to vigorous physical activity per day. Currently the WACs for family child care homes and child care centers fall short of meeting the outdoor activity standard and do not include any minimum requirements for moderate to vigorous physical activity.

Plan Objectives Addressed

Target Audience

Child care homes

Region

Statewide

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