Preschools Shaping Healthy Impressions through Nutrition and Exercise (SHINE)

California Department of Education ‐ Nutrition Services Division (CDE‐NSD)


Preschools Shaping Healthy Impressions through Nutrition and Exercise (SHINE) is a voluntary nutrition and physical activity recognition program for licensed child care centers and family child care homes in California. The program is designated for child care sites that participate in a federal child nutrition program, such as the Child and Adult Care Food Program or the National School Lunch Program and serve preschool aged children (ages 2-5). Funded by the California Department of Education ‐ Nutrition Services Division (CDE‐NSD), Preschools SHINE provides support to participating child care programs through on‐site coaching and targeted training, utilizing a team with expertise in nutrition and health. The overall goal of the program is to promote high‐quality nutrition and wellness practices at child care sites to support children’s health and readiness to learn.

Target Behavior: Healthy Eating, Physical Activity

Intervention Type: PSE Change

Intervention Reach and Adoption

SHINE targets early child care programs in California. Family child care homes and child care centers that participate in a federal child nutrition program and have at least 50 percent of children aged two to five years enrolled in their program may apply for Preschools SHINE certification. Since 2012, the SHINE program elements have been implemented in 78 child care agencies, reaching 96 preschool classrooms and nearly 2,000 children.

Setting: Child care

Age: Preschool (<5 years old)

Race/Ethnicity: All

Intervention Components

The Preschools SHINE program consists of 10 elements that foster healthy habits during the early years of growth and development:

  1. Participation in a Federal Child Nutrition Program
  2. Meal Quality
  3. Mealtime Environment
  4. Nutrition Education
  5. Edible Gardening
  6. Physical Activity
  7. Professional Development
  8. Wellness Policies
  9. Partnerships
  10. Leadership Team

The program is structured so all child care sites can achieve a beginning certification level (bronze), and then over time, make additional improvements to the site’s wellness environment in order to reach higher certification levels (silver and gold).

Information on the criteria child care sites must meet within each element and the levels of SHINE certification is accessible on the Preschools SHINE Web page at

Intervention Materials

The sites purchase their own intervention materials. There are no ordering forms online. However, there are tips and resources for intervention implementation:

Evidence Summary

The Sacramento County Office of Education conducted an evaluation for the SHINE program from 2014-2015. The data confirmed that the Preschools SHINE program provided effective education and coaching support to child care providers and staff that promoted high quality child nutrition and wellness environments. The evaluation data includes:

  • 80% of respondents indicated that the Preschools SHINE program had a moderate to strong impact on their practices at their child care site.
  • 72% of respondents indicated that the Preschools SHINE program had a moderate to strong impact on the environment at their child care site.
  • Statistically significant growth was reported by respondents’ self‐ratings of their knowledge and ability in each of the Preschools SHINE elements after participating in the program.
  • 96% of respondents were confident that they can maintain the Preschools SHINE criteria at their child care site.

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 MT5, MT6 LT5, LT6, LT7
Sectors of Influence

Evaluation Materials

A self-assessment tool is available here: The survey used to conduct the 2014-2015 evaluation in Sacramento is also available here (starting on page 29):


Additional Information

Website: The SHINE Website ( includes a SHINE overview, contact for more information, and links to the program overview, fact sheets for each element, templates for action plans, a self assessment tool, wellness policy templates, the SHINE application, an evaluation report, and an archived webinar.

Contact Person(s):
Courtney Hardoin
Nutrition Education Specialist
California Department of Education
Phone: (916) 324-0578