A new Web site launched yesterday to help California’s child care providers implement AB 2084 (Brownley), legislation which prohibits most sugar-sweetened beverages from being served in licensed child care programs.  AB 2084 went into effect in January. It requires licensed child care providers to:

  • Make clean and safe drinking water available at all times
  • Offer only unsweetened one percent or non-fat milk to children age two and older
  • Limit juice to only one serving a day of 100 percent juice
  • Prohibit beverages with added sweeteners or artificial flavors

The law provides exemptions for children with medical needs, on infant formula, or whose parents provide their own beverages.

The new Web site, www.healthybeveragesinchildcare.org, includes information about AB 2084, why drinking low-fat milk and water is an effective way to prevent childhood obesity, and ideas and resources to effectively implement the legislation.

In recent years, California lawmakers have taken great steps to improve the nutrition environment in schools by establishing standards for the beverages and food items sold in our schools, including the elimination of most sugar sweetened beverages.  AB 2084 provides similar nutrition standards which will benefit the more than 2 million children enrolled in licensed child care in California.

According to First 5 LA’s policy brief Sugary Drinks: A Big Problem for Little Kids, “Children are consuming nearly twice as many calories from sugary drinks today than they did 30 years ago. Sugary drinks now represent the biggest source of added sugar in children’s diets. A national random sample found that 44 percent of toddlers 1½ to 2 years old consume a sugary drink on any given day. Alarmingly, that proportion grows to 70 percent of 2- to 5-year-olds consuming a sugary drink on a typical day.”

The California Department of Social Services, the agency charged with overseeing licensed child care programs in the state, will determine AB 2084 compliance during regularly scheduled inspections.

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