Kids at Capel Sounds get a welcome kick-start to healthy habits

Tuesday 9 February, 2021


Cancer Council Victoria’s Achievement Program awards Victorian Government recognition for outstanding health and wellbeing efforts.


More than 150 children attending Capel Sounds Educational Child Care Centre and Kindergarten are now benefiting from health and wellbeing initiatives thanks to the achievement of all six health areas in the Healthy Early Childhood Services Achievement Program.


Supported by the Victorian Government and delivered by Cancer Council Victoria, the Achievement Program aims to create healthier learning environments for children, staff and families through the provision of an evidence-based framework. Aligned to key policies and guidelines, services have a series of targets to achieve across six key health areas: healthy eating and oral health; physical activity and movement; mental health and wellbeing; sun protection; safe environments; and tobacco, alcohol and other drugs.


Head of Cancer Council Victoria’s Achievement Program, Tope Adepoyibi, said Capel Sounds is part of a 1,300-strong community of Healthy Early Childhood Services Achievement Program members in Victoria, who are all seeking to strengthen their health and wellbeing practices.


“We know that helping children establish healthy habits sets the foundation for future health, development and wellbeing. The Achievement Program supports services across Victoria in building on their current initiatives and giving them the confidence to take a whole of service approach to health and wellbeing.


“Capel Sounds can be very proud of achieving all six health areas and knowing that it’s helping to embed lifelong healthy habits for the next generation. The service has now joined only a handful of other services who have successfully achieved this milestone state-wide,” Ms Adepoyibi said.


Wendy Stoffels, service director, said the Achievement Program helped to build on the health and wellbeing initiatives already in place.


“Children have enjoyed healthy eating experiences like growing and harvesting vegetables from their three gardens. They also enjoy opportunities to be little master chefs through cooking demonstrations, with children inquisitive about unknown foods and new taste sensations.


“We offer an Out and About program which sees the children come together for fun activities, including walking excursions to the local beach or wetlands. We also help the children develop resilience and coordination with physical activity challenges and bike and scooter riding,” Ms Stoffels said.


Catherine Glover, parent at Capel Sounds, says it’s a delight to send her child to Capel Sounds knowing that she’s creating lifelong healthy habits.


“As a parent you want to give your child the best start in life. It’s a delight to see the photos and to read about the fun, healthy activities the children have been involved in.


“‘Persistent Pete’, the classroom puppet, is always a big hit and it’s wonderful to know they’re learning important virtues such as patience, kindness and resilience in a fun and engaging way. My daughter also really enjoys the yoga and meditation sessions that provide a ‘brain break’ during a busy day at the service,” Ms Glover said.


Caili O’Toole, parent at Capel Sounds, said: “It’s a joy picking my daughter up each day and seeing the smiles on not only her face but all the other children too”.


Ms Stoffels believes the service’s healthy efforts have delivered many positive outcomes, which the whole service community can be proud of.


“It’s been great to see everyone enthusiastic about leading healthier lifestyles. Children, staff and families’ health awareness has improved, more children are riding or walking to kindergarten with their parents and children are bringing home their learnings such as having conversations about healthy eating or being sun smart.


“We’re now looking forward to bringing a sustainability lens to our health and wellbeing initiatives with the Achievement Program’s new Climate and Health pathway,” Ms Stoffels said.