Policy, System & Environment Change Process

The COWP policy, system, and environment change process is a strategic planning process that leads to the implementation of center-based policy, system, and environment strategies known to increase student and staff opportunities for healthy eating and physical activity during the school day. Sites assemble a wellness team to go through the 4-6-meeting process under the guidance of a trained facilitator. COWP wellness teams are comprised of 3-8 team members from different backgrounds (e.g. the director, teachers, food service, parents, etc). Our expert facilitators will help your team develop a final wellness policy poster and workplace wellness program.

The wellness team participates in a strengths and needs assessment using a menu of best practices, evaluates the importance and feasibility of potential changes, develops an action plan and timeline, and designs a wellness policy and workplace wellness plan. Since 2013, a total of 672 health-promoting PSE changes have been made, with an average of 5.5 changes per preschool setting.

How it works



Total health changes were selected across all sites


Healthy eating changes were selected across all sites


Physical activity changes were selected across all sites


An average of 5.5 changes per ECE setting


Of PSE changes were fully implemented after 6 months


Of PSE changes were fully implemented after 1 year


Of PSE changes were fully implemented after 2 years



People discussing wellness over lunch
“How it [the PSE Change process] got us to kind of focus on action steps and goals and we ended up getting a nutrition board which was something we had talked about but hadn’t implemented and just focusing on where we can improve”


Family Star Montessori
“I’ve seen a huge improvement from last year to this year and through the PSE committee one of our things we were focusing on was getting the teachers up and moving and being more active and giving them reasons. So we’re doing the walking clubs and if they’re up and moving with the kids and getting them dancing they’re getting steps. So I think just showing them the positives that are in for them too.”


Family Star Montessori
Man and woman discussing wellness

Rocky Mountain Prevention Research Center (RMPRC)

Colorado School of Public Health

CU Anschutz

Fitzsimons Building

13001 East 17th Place

3rd Floor East

Mail Stop B119

Aurora, CO 80045

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