[Watertown, Mass./ Washington, D.C. – February 26, 2015] Bright Horizons Family Solutions® and its Chief Executive Officer David Lissy were recognized at Partnership for a Healthier America's (PHA) Building a Healthier Future Summit for taking a leadership role in the fight to end childhood obesity and promoting children’s well-being. Lissy introduced First Lady Michelle Obama, who delivered the Keynote address during the plenary session on Thursday, February 26.
The Summit is one of the nation's premier gatherings of health experts, policy makers, and business and industry leaders committed to ending childhood obesity. Breakout sessions throughout the Summit focused on topics including corporate innovation for food health and wellness; sustainability and the future of food; and the path forward to health equity.
"It is an incredible honor to not only join First Lady Michelle Obama and PHA on this critical initiative, but to also be recognized as an organization that has led the way in providing early childhood settings that that foster and encourage the development of healthy habits," said Lissy. "“This is truly a celebration of our commitment to children's health, and recognizing the significant role that early educators have in influencing the behaviors that children adopt at an early age."
As the first national early care and education provider to collaborate with PHA in 2012, Bright Horizons has served as an open model for child care centers nationwide. As part of this collaboration, Bright Horizons underwent a full evaluation of its corporate policies and center practices surrounding nutrition and physical activity. The evaluation confirmed that all Bright Horizons centers always provide access to water during meals and throughout the day, and fried foods and sugar-sweetened beverages are never served. Children also participate in active indoor and outdoor play through the day.
"Our collaboration with Bright Horizons has set a standard for health and wellness in the early childhood education space, encouraging companies to create healthier environments for the children in their care by meeting requirements around nutrition, physical activity and screen time," said PHA CEO Lawrence A. Soler. "We are proud of Bright Horizons for being one of PHA's first partners, for completing its commitment and for serving as an open model for others in the industry. We look forward to continuing our work with them as a PHA partner emeritus."
Bright Horizons' Well Aware curriculum focuses on health, fitness and overall wellness for young children. It enables children to gain an understanding and awareness of how their bodies work, what their bodies need, and how to protect themselves. Family-style dining, part of the Well Aware curriculum, gives kids a chance to learn about food preferences. It also helps children develop the ability to read their body's hunger cues, and determine appropriate portion sizes depending on their appetite.
Bright Horizons provided the on-site child care program at the Summit, available to attendees' children between the ages of two and 12.
*A full version of PHA's Bright Horizons Progress Report will be available in May