Recognition programs identify and acknowledge programs, communities, or organizations that encourage exemplary activities that often go above and beyond policies and regulations. State child care agencies, public health agencies, and/or child care resource and referral agencies (CCR&Rs) can create child-care specific recognition programs to highlight providers that meet specific best practice criteria. Healthy and active living and breastfeeding-friendly practices recognition programs encourage child care programs to implement policies and practices to build healthy habits in children at an early age. Encouraging breastfeeding, serving nutritious food with family-style meals, and ensuring that children get 60 minutes total of active play each day, helps give children the access and the opportunity to be healthy at a young age. It also sets them up to live long, healthy lives.

There are 11 states with a healthy eating or physical activity (HEPA) recognition program, 29 states with a breastfeeding recognition program, and 22 states with HEPA initiatives, which don’t recognize individual providers but put heavy importance on healthy eating and physical activity throughout the state. To find out which states have recognition programs and to learn more, check out our tools, map, and resources here. Please click the icons to find out more about policies that support active play and breastfeeding in child care facilities.


Map of State Recognition Programs

 Click on the tabs in this interactive map to explore different programs in different states and find links to breastfeeding recognition programs, HEPA recognition programs, and HEPA initiatives across the country

Snapshot of Child Care Healthy, Active Living and Breastfeeding Recognition Programs

Data Analysis/Infographic

If you are interested in learning more about recognition programs or have an update to your state’s recognition program, contact us at

Other Resources

Healthy Child Care Settings

Use ChangeLab Solutions’ resources on healthy child care settings to help your community promote the health of its youngest members.

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