Empower Program

Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS)


The Empower Program is a PSE Change intervention developed by the Arizona Department of Health Services to support the efforts of licensed early care and education facilities and certified family child care homes to empower young children to grow up healthy.  Participating facilities pledge to adopt 10 standards that encourage healthy eating, active play, and other health habits.  Requirements include having a written policy and implementing each of the 10 standards.

Target Behavior: Breastfeeding, Healthy Eating, Physical Activity

Intervention Type: PSE Change

Intervention Reach and Adoption

The Empower Program targets licensed/certified child-care settings in Arizona.

Setting: Child care

Target Audience: Preschool (<5 years old), Elementary school

Race/Ethnicity: All

Intervention Components

Facilities participating in the Empower Program pledge to adopt 10 standards that support healthy eating, encourage active play, prevent exposure to second- and third-hand smoke, practice sun safety and promote good oral health habits in exchange for reduced licensing fees. Participating in Empower not only includes reduced licensing fees, but also a state-issued Empower facility designation, an Empower Pack of ready-to-use resources, and an Empower Guidebook.  Facilities develop and must implement a written policy for each one of the 10 standards:

  • Standard 1: Physical Activity and Screen Time
  • Standard 2: Sun Safety
  • Standard 3: Breastfeeding
  • Standard 4: Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP)
  • Standard 5: Fruit Juice
  • Standard 6: Family Style Meals
  • Standard 7: Oral Health
  • Standard 8: Staff Training
  • Standard 9: Arizona Smokers’ Helpline (ASHLine)
  • Standard 10: Smoke-Free  Environment

Intervention Materials

Evidence Summary

There are some process results/ongoing program evidence presented in the monthly newsletters (http://azdhs.gov/prevention/nutrition-physical-activity/empower/index.php#news-publications). The program reaches more than 200,000 children in 2100 ADHS licensed childcare centers, 300 ADHS licensed group homes, and 600 family child care homes, and has received multiple best practice awards. However, no rigorous evaluation results or publications are available.

Classification: Emerging

Evaluation Indicators

Based on the SNAP-Ed Evaluation Framework, the following outcome indicators can be used to evaluate intervention progress and success.

Readiness and Capacity – Short Term (ST) Changes – Medium Term (MT) Effectiveness and Maintenance – Long Term (LT) Population Results (R)
Environmental Settings ST5, ST6, ST7 MT5, MT6 LT5, LT6, LT7, LT8, LT9, LT10, LT11
Sectors of Influence

Evaluation Materials

Based on the FAQ section of the website, the Empower program is evaluated to make sure each center is meeting the program goals and needs of the children and can provide technical assistance, if needed. This evaluation is conducted by a Surveyor, but no additional information is provided.

Additional Information

Website: The Empower Program website (http://azdhs.gov/prevention/nutrition-physical-activity/empower/index.php) includes the Empower Program guidebook and other support resources and materials.

Contact Person(s):
Bureau of Nutrition and Physical Activity
150 N. 18th Ave. Suite 310
Phoenix, AZ 85007
Phone: 602-542-1886

Arizona Women, Infants & Children (WIC)
Phone: 800-2525-WIC

24-Hour Breastfeeding Hotline
Phone: 800-833-4642

Bonnie Williams
Early Care and Education Manager
Email: bonnie.williams@azdhs.gov
Phone: 602-542-2847 (office) or 480-294-2792 (cell)