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Thursday, February 2, 2023

A healthy life begins in the crèche

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A healthy snack, daily exercise units and a “we-feeling” – all this should give the children in the kindergartens and crèches in Upper Austria optimal conditions for their future life. “Healthy nutrition, enjoyment of exercise and mental well-being are important for a healthy life, and the foundation stone must be laid in infancy,” says Deputy Governor Christine Haberlander (VP), who is responsible for the education and health departments.

Ten years ago, the “Healthy Kindergarten” network was set up in cooperation with the education department. In the meantime, every second kindergarten has joined the project. A similar success should also be achieved with the crèches, in which children under the age of three are cared for and supported. The offer was therefore extended to them in 2019.

“Being there for eachother”

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After a three-year start-up phase, once the quality criteria have been met, certification follows. Eleven crèches recently received this award. In 2022/23, a total of 416 kindergartens and 75 crèches with around 26,000 children are taking part in the project. They will also incorporate this year’s focus “Being there for one another” into their care.

The aspect of mental health and well-being, an essential part of the concept, has become more relevant, reports Agnes Spachinger, head of the Berg kindergarten and crèche in Leonding. Children born during the coronavirus pandemic had less contact with other family members and peers than previous generations. They would therefore often need more time to get used to being looked after by others.

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The health department of the state of Upper Austria offers information material to the facilities participating in the voluntary offer and supports the staff with webinars. The further training measures would give new impetus, says the head of the kindergarten, Spachinger.

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Verena Mittellechner

v.mitterlechner@nachrichten.at

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