Health Education Standards for 4-Year-Olds
The success of Utah’s young children is strongly linked to their health. The goal of Health Education is to support early childhood educators and families in developing healthy, responsible children with knowledge and skills that lead to lifelong healthy behaviors. The inclusion of health practices in a child’s education positively contributes to their ability to learn, focus, and achieve health and wellness throughout their lives. The Utah Early Learning Standards for Health Education are an introduction to physical, mental, emotional, and social health.
The Health Standards consist of four strands:
Human Development focuses on independence in personal care and hygiene. Children with experience establishing habits and routines for caring for and protecting their bodies in a developmentally appropriate way tend to have healthier growth and development (Britto et al., 2017).
Health Foundations and Protective Factors of Healthy Self focuses on learning characteristics of safe and healthy relationships with peers and trusted adults (for example, parent, guardian, relative, teacher, counselor, clergy). Children with experience in building strong protective factors through positive reciprocal relationships are less likely to develop mental illness or substance use disorders (Shonkoff et al., 2012).
Mental and Emotional Health focuses on awareness and care for the mental and emotional health of self and others. Children with experience using strategies to identify and manage their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors have shown to be more skilled in self-regulation and self-control (Montroy et al., 2016; Schore, 2015).
Nutrition focuses on understanding the importance of nutritional food on health throughout life, including food choices, such as identifying healthy or less healthy foods, and how to properly fuel the body. Proper nutrition is linked to learning readiness, academic achievement, emotional health, supporting the immune system, and reducing the occurrence of many diseases (Britto et al., 2017).
ADULTS SUPPORT LEARNING IN HEALTH EDUCATION WHEN THEY:
Core Standards of the Course
Standard HE 4 yr.2.1
With prompting and support, identify trusted adults (for example, parent, guardian, relative, teacher, counselor, clergy) and describe how to recognize the characteristics that make them trusted and safe.
Standard HE 4 yr.3.1
Express, identify, and label emotions of self and others (for example, happy, sad, angry, afraid, frustrated, bored) and feelings (for example, thirsty, hungry, hot, cold, tired).
Standard HE 4 yr.3.3
With prompting and support, develop and practice self-control by regulating one’s own impulses and feelings, following simple directions, waiting for turns, transitioning between activities, and complying with limitations.
http://www.uen.org - in partnership with Utah State Board of Education (USBE) and Utah System of Higher Education (USHE). Send questions or comments to USBE Specialist - Jessica Mackley and see the Early Learning website. For general questions about Utah's Core Standards contact the Director - Jennifer Throndsen. These materials have been produced by and for the teachers of the State of Utah. Copies of these materials may be freely reproduced for teacher and classroom use. When distributing these materials, credit should be given to Utah State Board of Education. These materials may not be published, in whole or part, or in any other format, without the written permission of the Utah State Board of Education, 250 East 500 South, PO Box 144200, Salt Lake City, Utah 84114-4200.