About TOP Star
TOP Star stands for Teaching Obesity Prevention in Early Child Care Settings. (TOP Star for Persons with Disabilities is coming soon!)
Top Star is a FREE Utah-based program that helps early childcare facilities improve their nutrition, physical activity, and breastfeeding policies. TOP Star also offers free technical assistance and resources to participants.
Benefits for Centers
Facilities that choose to be part of the TOP Star program know the changes they make within their facilities will have a lifelong impact on the children and persons they care for. Facilities can promote and market their TOP Star endorsement to parents and the community to increase marketability. They are also able to earn continuing education hours to fulfill credit towards the Child Development Associate, Career Ladder Credit, Child Care Licensing, or Child Care Quality System. Facilities also receive fun incentives upon completion of the program such as gift cards, toys, access to special events, monthly newsletters, and more!
Benefits for Families
Parents benefit from TOP Star by knowing their child is in a healthy environment. These healthy behaviors may transfer to the home, making the healthy choice the easy choice. The early years are the best time for children to develop lifelong habits that reduce the risk of obesity and chronic diseases.
Facilities can become TOP Star endorsed in four steps:
- Complete a pre-assessment
- Develop and implement an action plan to improve current policies
- Participate in six online training modules
- Complete a post-assessment
If you are interested in learning more about the TOP Star or Persons with Disabilities programs, please email TOPStar@slco.org.
Becoming TOP Star endorsed is not an easy task. Below are the facilities in Salt Lake County that have put forth time and effort to improve their nutrition, physical activity, and breastfeeding environments for the children and adults in their care. (See endorsed facilities in other counties in Utah.)
|ABC Great Beginnings Jordan Landing||3|
|ABC Great Beginnings Murray||3|
|ABC Great Beginnings Redwood||3|
|ABC Great Beginnings Riverton||3|
|ABC Great Beginnings South Jordan||3|
|ABC Great Beginnings West Jordan||3|
|ABC Great Beginnings West Valley||3|
|Allison Cannon Daycare||3|
|Amy's Home Daycare||3|
|Bear Essentials Academy||3|
|Bear Essentials Next Generation Kids||3|
|Bennion Learning Center||3|
|Boys & Girls Club of South Valley||3|
|Buttons 'n Bows Preschool & Childcare||3|
|Country Kids Academy||3|
|Creative Learning Academy (DA)||3|
|Creative Learning Academy (SL County)||3|
|Creative Learning Academy of Utah, LLC||3|
|Cuenca's Learn and Grow Preschool||3|
|Fairy Godmother's Place||3|
|Intermountain Child Development Center||3|
|Leary Family Childcare||3|
|Lesly's Friends Child Care||3|
|Little Angels Child Care||3|
|Little Rascals Childcare-Preschool||3|
|Lolie Eccles Early Education Center||3|
|Martha's Day Care||2|
|Peggy J. Dipo||3|
|Precious People Daycare & Preschool||3|
|Rainbow of Love||2|
|Rock-A-Bye Infant Child Care Center||3|
|Small World Child Care, INC||3|
|Smart Kids 3 Learning Center||3|
|Smart Kids I||3|
|Smart Kids Kearns||3|
|Smart Kids Redwood||3|
|Smart Kids SLC||3|
|Smart Start Learning Center||3|
|Susan's Lullaby Nursery||3|
|The Winner School||3|
|Tilley Time Child Care||3|
The Salt Lake County Health Department recognizes outstanding work providers do for our community. Here are some highlights:
- Child Care Educator of the Year: Michelle Kiesewetter, The Christmas Box House
Michelle is beyond dedicated to the youth that she serves. During an exceptionally difficult year, Michelle has risen to the challenge and voluntarily worked extra hours to be sure that there is adequate coverage to meet the needs of the youth. Michelle is always looking for ways to improve the services offered at The Christmas Box House, and she is regularly reaching out to supervisors and directors with her suggestions. Michelle is a strong advocate for youth, and especially those who need it most. She always shows up and gives work her all, and then some. She regularly looks for enrichment activities for the youth she serves, often purchasing and gathering supplies on her own time. She has been known to even purchase special food for youth who have sensory sensitivities or cultural backgrounds to which she is mindful, in an effort to increase their comfort level in a difficult situation. Michelle is loyal, dedicated, determined, and sensitive both to her coworkers and to the youth she cares for. Working with youth in the foster care system, as they are temporarily housed at The Christmas Box House, means putting yourself in the forefront of children who may lash out, who are scared, who have complicated backgrounds, and who come from hard places. Michelle shows up for them where they need her to be. Whether that’s with firm boundaries, or with space to be upset, she adapts as is needed. She models de-escalation to other caretakers on a regular basis, an invaluable tool in her line of work. She is there for kids who often do not have that experience with adults, and there is nothing more important than that.
- Child Care Director of the Year: Debra Wells, Jordan High School Kinderbeets
Debra does an amazing job with every single child and student that walks through her door. She is constantly finding new and very fun ways to teach each child, all while teaching Jordan High students different skills to do the same with these children and future children that they may want to teach, or even just for their own future children! Never has she been inconsiderate with the children or students, but rather goes above and beyond, allowing every human she comes across to know they are loved in the world and that they can do amazing things! Debra truly changed my life being one of her students. I have never had a better teacher or influencer than her. Even when she is going through rough times it doesn’t show, she just wants to be the best teacher she can be, and she truly is amazing. If your child goes to this center and is taught by Debra, you know that they will truly be taken care of with love and great education.
- Child Care Educator of the Year: Amy Burns, Amy's Home Daycare
I would like to nominate Mrs. Amy Burns for Child Care Educator of the Year. For fifteen years, Mrs. Burns has helped me raise my children as well as hundreds of others. As a military spouse she has relocated and established three different child care centers in her home, all of which have been outstanding successes. Amy provides an environment superior to any other daycare facility I have seen which includes structure, education, and love. One of the best parts of Amy Burn’s Child Care Center is how structured the environment is. As parents we generally are forced to make the decision to send our children to commercial daycare centers where they have structure and availability or a home daycare where they receive freedom and a loving environment. Amy provides a service that gives parents the best of both of those worlds. Not only did Amy potty train two of my children by the age of two, she taught them their ABC’s while also enriching their lives with a love of nutritious foods. Daily, as part of their breakfast routine, Amy and the kids brush their teeth. I use this task as an example to illustrate the care and attention Amy gives to each child. When your child is enrolled with Amy Burns, they receive total care above and beyond the normal protocol. The state of Utah is rich with support for raising children because of loving and caring providers like Amy Burns. Thank you for providing me an opportunity to recognize that.
- Child Care Director of the Year: Jessica Lloyd, Creative Learning Academy of Utah
I would like to nominate Jessica Lloyd from Creative Learning Academy of Utah for the Director of the Year award. Ever since Jessica has taken over as the childcare provider for the Salt Lake County employer provided childcare, I have seen immense improvements consistently over time. Just in the past year CLA began using a program called Brightwheel which has been a great resource for parents for not only automatic payments but also daily communication for parents. This program has helped with being able to review a child’s daily schedule, see what they are learning in the classroom, and being able to communicate with a child’s teacher for specific needs or concerns as well as important dates to be aware of for special activities. This tool has been wonderful in providing a way for parents to know what is going on with their children even if they are not the parent that is regularly dropping off or picking up every day. Jessica has also worked hard to make sure teachers are trained and have the right tools and skills they need to be effective the classroom with the kids. They are conscientious about menus and what they are feeding the children at the center to make sure they are receiving a well-balanced and nutritious diet. Improvements are constantly being made to help the physical environment work for the children and teachers with proper equipment and toys for children to enjoy being there and to keep things organized. Jessica is a great resource and is very deserving of this award.