Early Childhood

GAVA's Early Childhood (EC) Sector Organizer is housed at United Way for Greater Austin. She works to bring healthy food and age-appropriate physical activity opportunities to early childhood care centers, home-based providers, and pre-K classrooms throughout 78744 and 78745.

"Early childhood" is defined as children ages 0-5, which are some of the most formative developmental years of every child's life. Our early childhood work helps children, their parents, and their caregivers build a foundation of healthy habits that will last the rest of their adult lives.

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Statistics show that current middle school students in lower-income neighborhoods are already overweight or obese at early adolescence, meaning that they have to work against accumulated unhealthy habits related to nutrition and physical activity. The children that are impacted by GAVA resident leaders' work will learn healthy eating and physical activity habits before age five, giving them an advantage in achieving lifelong health. 

Our work in this sector significantly changes how early childhood care providers in 78744 and 78745 structure their daily routines, feed the children in their care, and provide physical activity outlets. In addition, it teaches parents in the neighborhoods how to integrate nutrition and physical activity into their routines at home.

The EC Sector Organizer helps parents and providers build a collaborative network to access healthy food, PA equipment, and improved space for play. By integrating Coordinated Approach to Child Health (CATCH) curriculum and Vroom activities into childcare centers, helping parents enroll their children in Pre-Kindergarten, and helping home-based providers build out their spaces to include healthy food storage and refrigeration units and age-appropriate play spaces, she is providing hundreds of children with the building blocks they need to develop in a healthy, balanced environment.