Getting Started

 

ACTION STEPS & WORKSHEETS

The action steps below are a sequential and cyclical process for a state’s obesity prevention efforts targeting the ECE setting. The steps are presented in the order that is most appropriate for states who are new to this kind of work. The best starting point for states already working in this area will be determined by the nature of their prior work and their current partnerships.

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Step 1. Assess and Strengthen Partnerships: Complete the Partnership Assessment Worksheet to identify who should be at the table for planning state efforts to address obesity prevention focused on the ECE setting. Identify both existing and potential partners from the ECE and public health arenas.

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Step 2. Complete a State Spectrum Profile and Identify Equity Goals and Strategies: Use the State Profile Worksheet to summarize available information needed for your state partnership to begin discussions about how best to strengthen existing efforts and pursue new opportunities. The data from the worksheet can then be converted into a state spectrum profile. CDC has draft spectrum profiles for several states, contact eceobesity@cdc.gov to inquire. Use the Equity Worksheet to document your key partners’ priorities, goals, and strategies pertaining to equity.

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Step 3. Assess Efforts to Date: Complete the Spectrum of Opportunities Assessment Worksheet to catalogue state efforts to date, whether successful or not, including any intended and unintended consequences related to equity.

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Step 4. Determine Feasibility of Opportunities and Consider Equity Goals: Use the Spectrum of Opportunities Rating Worksheet to identify new opportunities for consideration and current efforts that might be improved and to rate the feasibility of each to help develop consensus on what to pursue.

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Step 5. Develop a Shared Action Plan and Logic Model: Use the ‘Action Plan Worksheet’ and sample logic model to create a plan that documents the efforts that will be pursued by each stakeholder in the immediate future and the efforts that are expected to be pursued in the longer-term.


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SEEK INPUT FROM ECE PROVIDERS

In considering past, current, and potential new opportunities to pursue, it is important to get targeted input from ECE providers. Two common methods for gathering input are focus groups and ECE provider surveys. Focus groups allow you to collect more in-depth information, to interact with ECE providers during the data collection process to assess non-verbal cues, and to gather information you might not think to include on a survey. Focus groups, however, are quite time-intensive for both you and providers, require staff to travel to a number of locations to meet providers, and don’t always provide information that reflects the general population (given that, typically, smaller numbers of ECE providers are interviewed).
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Unlike focus groups, surveys allow you to reach larger numbers of providers with fewer resources. But, the information you receive is limited to the questions you include on the survey, and there is always the possibility that your questions might be misinterpreted. Several states have developed provider surveys to assess the current status of policies and practices related to nutrition, breastfeeding, physical activity, and screen time in facilities.  Contact eceobesity@cdc.gov for assistance on creating and fielding a survey for ECE providers.
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Combining the two assessment methods—for example, hosting a series of focus groups to inform the development of a statewide survey—is the most comprehensive approach.