Top Star Program
TOP Star – Teaching Obesity Prevention in Childcare Settings – is a program developed by the Utah Department of Health, local health departments, and other partners to help prevent obesity among children in childcare. The goal of TOP Star is to help childcare providers improve their nutrition and physical activity environments.
The TOP Star Program consists of two components:
- A training course, which is available through local health departments and Care About Childcare agencies.
- A consultation and technical assistance program, which is available through local health departments.
As part of both the training and technical assistance programs, childcare providers complete a self-assessment describing the nutrition and physical activity opportunities available at their centers. (Preschools please complete the preschool assessment form.) Childcare providers electing to complete the full TOP Star program receive in-depth technical assistance with a trained local health department consultant, who helps identify strategies for improving nutrition and physical activity in the childcare setting and shares resources to help providers meet their goals.
The technical assistance program is available free of charge to any childcare provider that chooses to enroll. Upon completion of a process that includes self-assessment, goal setting, and the implementation of an action plan, childcare providers who demonstrate improvement in physical activity and nutrition environments are eligible to receive a TOP Star endorsement.
The TOP Star endorsement helps childcare providers promote and market their achievements in physical activity and nutrition to parents and can be noted on the Care About Childcare website.
The endorsement is valid for three years. After three years, endorsed childcare providers are encouraged to reapply for endorsement, which involves completing a new self-assessment.
An online training is available for providers who prefer a self-study format or are located in areas where TOP Star classroom-based courses are not readily available.
Utah’s TOP Star program is based on the Nutrition and Physical Activity Self Assessment for Child Care (NAP SACC), an evidence based assessment tool developed by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. TOP Star was adapted to include an infant and toddler component and a breastfeeding support component.
Find out more about the benefits of TOP Star, see the Success Stories webpage, which features stories from childcare providers who have completed the training and technical assistance program.
To find TOP Star training courses in your area, contact your local Care About Childcare agency or your local health department.