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Conclusions and Recommendations
The county-wide Choose Health LA Child Care program in Los Angeles has reached many licensed child care providers and as a result has reached a substantial number of children. This program has trained 5,853 and coached 2,323 child care providers from 2013 to 2016. With each child care program having an estimated average of 26 child care spaces per site, this suggests that the program has impacted approximately 152,178 children over the life of the program. Moreover, it is expected that the children providers will serve in the future will also benefit from Choose Health LA Child Care as provider knowledge and practice is maintained over time.
Findings from the Policies and Practices Survey have served to: 1) Provide a snapshot of providers’ knowledge about policies and practices before and after participating in CHLA CC training and coaching, 2) Identify areas of strength in providers’ health knowledge, policies and practices, and readiness to make changes in those areas, and 3) Identify areas that may merit further intervention to support providers in creating or maintaining a healthy child care environment. All factors were examined paying attention to specific strengths and needs by child care provider primary language and program type (center-based or home-based).
There are a few limitations to this research that should be considered when interpreting the results. First, even though they were asked to reflect on their knowledge and practice before participating in any CHLA CC component, the baseline survey participants responded to may not have been a true baseline survey because participants completed it after participating in the training. It is possible that not all providers completed the survey with their knowledge, readiness, and practices before participating in the training as the point of reference. Due to multiple reasons related to participant recruitment, knowing who was going to be participating in training before the training occurred was not always feasible in order to administer the baseline survey at that point. Second, the Policies and Practices Survey is a self-report instrument and relies on participants’ recollection and perception of their own knowledge and practices. Reporting specifics on the food they serve may have been challenging for some participants and if there were inaccuracies in their self-report, the change in practice captured in this survey may not have been a true reflection of the change that occurred. Observational assessments recently completed may shed some light on findings from this report. A final limitation of this study is that the results are based on participants who self-selected into the program and who chose to return a survey. There may be inherent differences between participants who chose to attend Choose Health LA Child Care trainings and those who did not, participants who chose to receive Choose Health LA Child Care coaching and those who did not, and participants who sent in a survey and those who did not.
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