Improving Early Care and Education Environments

Efforts to improve early care and education environments to support healthy eating and active living 

Early childhood education is one of 14 evidence-based, community-wide interventions identified to address the social determinants of health and improve health and well-being in as few as five years. 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Health Impact in 5 Years

“Most young children spend time in care outside of their home, making the early care and education setting one of the best places to reach young children with obesity prevention efforts.” 


- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


  • S.C. Department of Social Services ABC Grow Healthy- ABC Quality Child Care, South Carolina's Quality Improvement System at the S.C. Department of Social Services Division of Early Care and Education, promotes Grow Healthy standards participating child care programs. Grow Healthy standards set forth policies and practices to increase children's consumption of healthy foods and time spent being physically active in child care.   
  • Overview of ABC Grow Healthy-  This Center for Training and Research Translation report highlights details of the ABC Grow Healthy initiative led by the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control and the SC Department of Social Services.
  • Move More…It’s in the Cards - Move More…It's In the Cards provides early childhood caregivers with an easy-to-use resource for leading children in physical activity. Each card describes an activity that caregivers can use to help children meet the daily recommended amount of structured physical activity. This tool can be used to increase the amount and variety of children's movement opportunities and can reinforce concepts being taught in the early childhood classroom.

ThumbnailGrow Outdoors South Carolina

  • A joint effort of the Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity Prevention and ABC Quality at the SC Department of Social Services, Grow Outdoors South Carolina (GO SC), aims to increase young children's access to quality, naturalized, outdoor environments, in the child care setting, that support play and learning across all domains of development.
  • Based on Preventing Obesity by Design developed by the Natural Learning Initiative at NC State University, Go SC addresses the obesity epidemic in young children attending child care by promoting physical activity, healthy eating, and learning through changes in the design and management of outdoor environments at child care facilities. 

For more information about Grow Outdoors South Carolina, contact Misty Pearson,, 803-898-1619.​​​​