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What is HEAL?

The Marin Countywide Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL) Initiative brings together residents and community partners from throughout Marin to create a road map to improve community health. We are pleased to announce we have received a grant from the Marin Community Foundation for HEAL work with families and providers enrolled in our Access to Quality Child Care program. This program focuses on policies, systems and practices to support HEAL work in child care and support quality. Other opportunities include: more training  for the provider community, on-site work with specialists in different areas, garden and nutrition education and much more!

Policy, System, & Environment

Policy, System, & Environmental, Changes with HEAL

HEAL and the Marin Child Care Council support best practices for childcare providers, staff, children, and families. HEAL supports the Policy Systems and Environments (PSE) model for developing lasting positive changes in early childhood settings.


The HEAL program looks toward greater trends in the field of children's health, tracking developing models and global strategies that bring effective and equitable change in early childhood.​​


Policy changes are when a childcare site adopts a new policy around children's health and wellness.

This can then be shared and communicated to staff, and families; by handbook, website, cubby, and/or bulletin board.

Please see below for sample policies for Child Care Sites.



System changes are when childcare providers look at their routines and daily practices and make changes to it.

This may be how the flow of the day or weekly schedule happens.


Examples of system changes may be:

  • Celebrations and holidays are enjoyed with healthy foods and non-treat activities.

  • Gardening is woven into the weekly schedule- to sustain a garden program students need to be able to learn and access it often. By weaving it into your daily or weekly schedule children can support the need of the garden such as watering and planting but also get to see seeds and plants grow and connect and make meaningful connections to the place.



Environmental changes are when the indoor or outdoor learning playscape is changed, added to, or altered using the early childhood lens of developmentally appropriate learning tools and or childcare site needs.


Examples of environmental changes look like this:

  • Adding more physical activity materials such as tumbling mats, yoga mats, balls, rope, and more

  • Adding garden beds or adding elements to your learning playscape

  • Offering a breastfeeding area for families at your childcare site.

Sample Policies & Action Planning

Sample Policies & Action Planning


Breastfeeding Sample Policy

Breastfeeding Sample Policy En Español

Garden Education Sample Policy

Garden Education Sample Policy En Español

Family Style Eating Sample Policy

Family Style Eating Sample Policy En Español

Healthy Celebrations Sample Policy

Healthy Celebration Sample Policy En Español

Goal Setting and Action Planning Support Documents

Nutrition Sample Policy

Nutrition Sample Policy En Español

Physical Exercise Sample Policy

Physical Exercise Sample Policy En Español

Goal Setting and Action Planning Support Documents

Goal Setting and Action Planning Support Documents

Growing Strong Award

What is the Growing Strong Award certificate program?

The Growing Strong award certification is a free and voluntary opportunity for all childcare providers. This program assesses childcare sites on their nutrition and physical activity practices. Participants receive support through the HEAL grant. Through self-assessment, goal setting, resources, and training, we work with providers to help make improvements. Best practices will be recognized in areas that help empower children and their families in making lifelong healthy choices.

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