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StartWELL: Healthy CPS for Pre-K

Early childhood is crucial for a child’s development, with children making enormous gains in cognitive, language, and motor skills during this time. Developing healthy habits is just as important! StartWELL provides guidelines, best practices, and resources to help schools implement Healthy CPS in their Pre-K programs. OSHW works closely with the Office of Early Childhood Education (OECE) to align all of our district’s health and wellness policies and protocols—from physical activity to food allergy management—to ensure our youngest students have safe, supportive, and healthy environments in which to learn and grow!

StartWELL Guidelines

Chronic Disease

  • Provide a safe and supportive environment for students with chronic conditions including asthma, food allergies, and diabetes by completing the required annual training and ensuring all related policies and procedures are followed.
  • Ensure all paperwork has been returned by parents/guardians and submitted to appropriate school staff.
  • Make sure the medication always follows the child!

Health Services

  • Ensure students are meeting requirements for Vision and Hearing screenings, Dental exams, and general medical compliance.
  • Work with school staff to ensure Student Medical Information forms are returned and submitted.
  • Refer all students who do not have health insurance to 773-553-KIDS (5437).

Physical Activity

  • Include at least 30 minutes/day for half day and 60 minutes/day for full day programs as well as frequent movement activities integrated into academic learning.
  • Include at least 10 minutes of structured physical activity within that time.

Family Style

  • Implement full family style dining and incorporate casual, nutrition-based conversation into meal time.

Healthy Celebrations and Rewards

  • Celebrations should focus on fun rather than food.
  • Classroom celebrations with food are not permitted; food prepared in the home is not permitted in classrooms.
  • Food should never be used as a reward.

Family Engagement

  • Offer at least one family engagement event incorporating health and wellness content each school year.

Nutrition Education

  • Integrate nutrition education into learning activities.

Download the StartWELL Toolkit here!

Student Health and Wellness

773-553-KIDS (5437)

42 W. Madison St.
Chicago, IL 60602