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  1. Sawicki, Erin MPH
  2. Barker, Dianne C. MHS
  3. Gutman, Marjorie A. PhD
  4. Caughlan, Ian BA
  5. Yochelson, Marissa BA
  6. Grob, George MA


Context: In recent years, several states have adopted new regulations concerning nutrition, physical activity, and screen time in early care and education (ECE) settings to help prevent childhood obesity.


Objective: To disseminate a menu of factors that facilitate and/or impede implementation of obesity prevention regulations in ECE settings.


Design: To create the menu, we condensed and categorized factors identified in the literature and through field work by placing them within domains. We applied the menu by conducting semistructured interviews during a pilot test assessing implementation of ECE regulations in Colorado.


Setting and Participants: We first interviewed state and local government agency leaders responsible for policy oversight, and state employees and contractors who acted as intermediaries to direct implementers. We then interviewed directors at ECE centers in the Denver, Colorado, area. We selected 21 ECE centers for a site visit on the basis of feasibility, percentage of low-income families, and diversity in race and ethnicity at each center. Seven centers participated.


Main Outcome Measures: Minor and major facilitators and impediments to implementation of childhood obesity prevention regulations in ECE settings.


Results: The resulting menu includes 7 domains and 39 factors influential for implementation of ECE regulations. Of these 39 factors, interviewees identified 7 facilitating factors (4 major and 3 minor) and 2 impeding factors (both major). Major facilitating factors were buy-in from parents/caregivers, training and communication provided by governing authority and their contractors, and low level of change required by the regulations themselves. Major impeding factors were timing of implementation and balancing the demands of the regulations against other priorities.


Conclusions: The menu developed by our research team, combined with existing frameworks in dissemination and implementation research, can be used by researchers, practitioners, and policy makers to anticipate factors that facilitate and/or impede implementation of ECE policies to prevent childhood obesity.