Gold Sneaker Initiative Policies


Gold Sneaker Policies (Revised November 2018)

Licensed Tennessee childcare providers have the opportunity to improve the health of the children in their care by adopting policies related to physical activity, healthy eating, and a tobacco-free environment. In November 2018, Gold Sneaker completed revision of the original nine policies making up the Initiative. The seven revised policies are:

Physical Activity Policies

Policy 1: Children attending less than a full day program shall be offered a proportional amount of the physical activity time as required by TDHS licensure rules. Physical activity for children ages three years and older must be a balance of structured and unstructured play, both indoors and outdoors (weather permitting) utilizing age appropriate activities.

Policy 2: Providers shall provide education (i.e., via parent meetings, provider newsletter articles, sharing of educational video resources, etc.) to families twice each year that addresses the importance of limiting screen time according to current American Academy of Pediatrics policy and the development of a Family Media Plan.


Policy 3: Children shall not be allowed to remain sedentary or to sit passively for more than 60 minutes continuously, except for scheduled rest or naptime. Childcare director/owner shall take Go NAP SACC Self Assessments (Infant and Child Safety Physical Activity & Screen Time) to compare their physical activity practices to best practice standards.

Policy 4: Childcare providers must ensure physical activity is a positive experience for children and that it is never used negatively or to control behavior.




Nutrition Policies

Policy 5: Providers shall ensure appropriate infant and child feeding patterns, including breastfeeding. All educators shall be trained to: advocate for breastfeeding, safely prepare expressed breastmilk for feeding, feed infants according to their individual needs, and store expressed breast milk properly. Providers shall publically display their support for breastfeeding infants and mothers by posting signage or other publically facing information (i.e., participate in Breastfeeding Welcomed Here through the TN Department of Health or Team Nutrition resources for new and expectant moms about breastfeeding).

Policy 6: Childcare educators shall ensure appropriate infant and child feeding patterns, including adequate time for snack and meal consumption and age-appropriate portion size.

Childcare educators shall provide education to families twice each year (i.e., via parent meetings, provider newsletter articles, sharing of educational video resources, etc.) that addresses nutritional learning experiences, with a focus on adequate time for snacks and meals and age-appropriate portion size. All eating opportunities shall consist of a respect for the child and promotion of a positive attitude toward food. Childcare educators shall apply evidence-based early food preference learning strategies such as introducing healthy foods, repeatedly pairing new healthy food choices with foods children already like and modeling consumption and enjoyment of healthy foods.




Tobacco-free Campus Policy

Policy 7: The childcare provider campus shall be free of all tobacco and tobacco-related products, including smoking, smokeless and electronic products.  The campus is inclusive of all vehicles used to transport enrolled children, all outdoor spaces, and all indoor locations, whether or not children are present.  Childcare employees and volunteers may not use tobacco or tobacco-related products while off-campus at provider-related activities (i.e. fieldtrips, walks, and all other outdoor activities). Employees who use tobacco products while off campus are required to change clothes and wash hands thoroughly prior to interacting with children. “No Smoking” signs shall be posted conspicuously at each childcare provider entrance, as required by state law.

For additional information
Yvette Mack, PhD OR
(615) 741-0315