American Samoa Govt Dept of Human & Social Services CHILD CARE DIVISION

Contact Information

997534 Centennial Office Building
Ste. 301
Utulei, AS 96799 - 0000
(684) 633-1571
Social Innovation Fund Pay for Success FY 2014

Executive Summary

A 2010 World Health Organization report dubbed American Samoa as the "world's fattest country" with 95% of our population being considered overweight. And with 46% of our total population being younger than 20 years old, this statistic is even more alarming!

"The U.S. Surgeon General declared it an epidemic that could dwarf the threat of terrorism; the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation committed half-a-billion dollars towards reversing it; the U.S. Department of Agriculture designated it as one of the five priority science areas and awarded the University of Hawaii $25 million to help combat it; a leading healthcare expert predicted that it will lead to more chronic diseases and premature deaths than exposure to tobacco, drugs, and alcohol combined; HBO filmed an hour-long documentary about it; the White House convened a task-force to address it, with the First Lady leading the effort; and America's top military leaders called it a threat to national security- twice. " However, despite level of attention childhood obesity has gained and the billions of federal dollars being allocated, surveillance studies in the U.S. and here at home fail to show that childhood obesity is declining.

American Samoa joins the ranks of other Pacific nations in taking a serious look at addressing the link between obesity and non-communicable diseases that are plaguing our communities. Increases in imported foods, convenience of fast-food, high cost of nutritious foods, along with a predominantly sedentary lifestyle have resulted in Type 2 Diabetes, chronic heart disease, and other diet and exercise preventable diseases that are taking its toll on our health care and other social systems. More importantly, if changes are not made quickly, we run the risk of raising a population of children that are destined for countless medical visits and ultimately premature death.

Through this application the Department of Human and Social Services Child Care Division will focus its efforts on the Social Innovation Fund Healthy Futures Area. Specifically, the American Samoa Child Care Program seeks training and technical, as well as financial, resources for Project Lauolaola, which is the Samoan word for thrive. Specifically, this application seeks resources to assess the feasibility of, as well as develop the capacity for, Pay for Success programs that focus on improving Let's Move Child Care outcomes for children ages 0 - less than 13 years in various child care settings on the island of Tutuila in American Samoa.

Using the current infrastructure for the American Samoa Child Care Program, administered by the American Samoa Government's Department of Human and Social Services Child Care Division, including access to over 35 child care facilities and various program partners we would like to establish an Assessment & Capacity Training (ACT) Team. Comprised of 5 motivated individuals, the ACT Team will be trained to assess and build the capacity of stakeholders to develop and implement a Social Innovation Fund (SIF) Pay for Success (PFS) system that mobilizes child care facilities by empowering them to reduce childhood obesity by achieving the goals of the Let's Move Child Care Initiative.

Child Care Providers will be afforded access to training and technical assistance, aimed at building their capacity to provide supportive environments, policies, and programs to raise the level of awareness of children and their parents to make healthier choices.

By the end of year 3, Project Lauolaola will have accomplished the following goals:

GOAL 1: Implement policy updates endorsing practices that promote the accomplishment of the Let's Move Child Care goals.

GOAL 2: At least 50% of all children cared for in child care settings will be at or below the normal weight for their age.

GOAL 3: At least 25% of parents and child care staff will demonstrate increased awareness and knowledge in child nutrition and development.

Goal 4: Increase access to and use of fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as other "My Plate" strategies.

Goal 5: Each child care facility will develop a sustainability plan to ensure to continue positive child nutrition and health outcomes.

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