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How can we improve the oral health of children attending our service?
Early childhood services such as kindergartens and day care centres play an important role in promoting young children’s oral health.
Early childhood is when many lifetime habits are established and offers the opportunity to prepare for good health in later years. As young children learn and develop they are constantly exposed to new experiences and respond by developing new behaviours and skills.
The Smiles 4 Miles program helps services put in place simple strategies to promote good oral health and healthy eating habits among children, which supports and enhances existing structures, programs and practices .
The Smiles 4 Miles program encourages a way of thinking and working that is adopted by the whole service in order to make it the best possible place to learn, work and play. The program encourages thinking broadly and creatively about what is happening in the service and what can be done to help make improvements to create an environment that supports oral health.
How Smiles 4 Miles relates to the National Quality Framework
Smiles 4 Miles can help meet the requirements of the National Quality Standard and related documents and has strong alignment to the Early Years Learning Framework for Australia and the Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework.
How Smiles 4 Miles helps to promote good oral health habits and healthy eating among children at your service
- Complete an initial assessment of your current oral health promoting activities
- Educators participate in training covering oral health and the Smiles 4 Miles program
- A sound healthy eating and oral health policy is in place
- Carry out learning experiences around the key messages: Drink well, Eat well and Clean well
- Share information with families around the key messages: Drink well, Eat well, and Clean well (including information regarding local dental services and eligibility)
Can I register my services in Smiles 4 Miles?
To participate in Smiles 4 Miles, there needs to be a dedicated Coordinator within your local area. To find out if your area has a local Coordinator, contact the Smiles 4 Miles team.