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Knowledge Universe joins fight to end childhood obesity with the Grow Happy initiative

Inspired by its commitment to Partnership for a Healthier America, nation’s largest early learning and child care company launches initiative encouraging families to get healthy together

Portland, Ore. (March 13, 2014) – At Partnership for a Healthier America’s Building A Healthier Future Summit today, Knowledge Universe joined the fight against childhood obesity, and announced the Grow Happy initiative to help families lead healthier lives. The Knowledge Universe® Grow Happy initiative urges families, including parents of the160,000 children in their 2,000 KinderCare, CCLC, and Champions early learning and care centers, to make realistic changes to their lifestyles that could lead to lifelong healthy habits.

“Given the scale and reach that our company has across the country, we have an amazing opportunity to inspire healthier lifestyles among the children we educate and care for every day, parents, partners, and even our own employees. As a company dedicated to education, our job is to make the most of the moments we have with the children in our care and to help them become the best people they can be,” said Knowledge Universe CEO Tom Wyatt. “Like any big change, making the transition to healthier behavior can start small, with an extra jumping jack or apple slice. We are a partner to parents in this endeavor, helping them build a passion for health in kids that will last a lifetime.”

Inspired by their commitment to Partnership for a Healthier America, Knowledge Universe created the Grow Happy initiative to help families set healthy goals and learn more about nutrition and fitness. The Grow Happy blog will feature practical, easy, and step-by-step guides on how to eat well and stay fit together. The blog will be updated with new content every week, including:

Fun cooking videos featuring kids making healthy meals and snacks with Knowledge Universe’s registered dietitian. The videos demonstrate how much kids love to help in the kitchen, which is important because participating in the process is a great way to encourage children to try new, healthy foods.
A collection of kid-tested and dietitian-approved recipes.
Tips on how to integrate simple healthier habits into everyday life, and help with everything from picky eaters to rainy day activities.
The Grow Happy Goal Tracker, which families can use to set and track their healthy goals at home.
“We have the great responsibility of giving children a foundation for success in school and in life,” said Dr. Elanna Yalow, CEO of Knowledge Universe’s Early Education Learning Programs. “We take that seriously, and recognize that health curriculum, and helping families make realistic changes to their lifestyle, is a huge part of helping kids grow into happy, successful adults.”

PHA works with the private sector to garner meaningful commitments that help end childhood obesity. Knowledge Universe has committed to specific healthy standards approved by PHA in all of its 2,000 KinderCare, CCLC and Champions centers, including ensuring physical activity in the classroom and outside, serving vegetables at every meal, offering family-style dining, and more. The commitments will ensure that children in Knowledge Universe centers will be cared for in a manner consistent with PHA guidelines to help prevent childhood obesity.

“Healthy practices in child care settings help young children develop and maintain good habits for life, and Knowledge Universe is able to reach families and kids on a very large scale,” said PHA CEO Lawrence A. Soler. “We are pleased that the parents of the more than 160,000 kids in its centers now have even healthier choices available to them.”

Visit the Grow Happy blog at

About Knowledge Universe
Knowledge Universe believes that the power of education changes lives. Every day more than 160,000 children take their first steps, learn to read and prepare for school through our early childhood and school-age programs. The Knowledge Universe® family of companies includes KinderCare® Learning Centers, CCLC®, and Champions®, where more than 31,000 people help children discover books, music, science, sports, cooking, and language in a nurturing and safe environment. To learn more, visit us online at and on Twitter.

About Partnership for a Healthier America
The Partnership for a Healthier America is devoted to working with the private sector to ensure the health of our nation’s youth by solving the childhood obesity crisis. In 2010, PHA was created in conjunction with – but independent from – First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! effort. PHA is a nonpartisan nonprofit organization that is led by some of the nation’s most respected health and childhood obesity experts. PHA brings together public, private and nonprofit leaders to broker meaningful commitments and develop strategies to end childhood obesity. Most important, PHA ensures that commitments made are commitments kept by working with unbiased, third parties to monitor and publicly report on the progress our partners are making. For more information about PHA, please visit and follow PHA on Twitter @PHAnews.

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