During 2015, Healthy Peninsula, as the recipient of a Virginia Wellington Cabot Foundation planning grant, was charged with learning from local parents, educators, and community members about the resources families used, the challenges they face, and what more they need. Through interviews and surveys, early childhood educators related concerns about young children with medical problems, such as asthma, obesity, chronic fatigue, and anxiety, and behavioral issues that include verbal or physical aggression. Parents asked for more support in the areas of positive discipline, honesty and respect, healthy eating, and physical activity for their children. They cited the need for before and after-school childcare, activities for toddlers, and financial assistance for childcare and preschool programs.
Healthy Peninsula staff and pediatrician Bob Holmberg analyzed the results, which were disseminated to educator and parent participants. A meeting on Nov. 21 gathered interested people together to review the results and begin to develop a community plan for action.