Why is this handbook important?

The early years of childhood are the most important time for building the foundations for healthy child development. Children are spending more time in care and this means childcare educators have an important role to play in promoting good nutrition and physical activity.

This handbook has been developed for Indigenous childcare educators and all staff working with Indigenous children from birth to 5 years.The information in this handbook will help you to support parents and children to make healthy choices. Inside you will find evidence based information on breastfeeding, infant formula, introducing first foods, healthy foods and drinks, and physical activity.

This handbook provides:
  • an understanding of the healthy eating guidelines and physical activity recommendations
  • practical ideas for putting the guidelines into practice and for working with families confidently.

How can I use this staff handbook?

Caring for kids and families

You can use this handbook to guide you in caring for children every day. It can also be used as a reference if families ask you for information and advice.

Supporting families

This handbook can help you talk to parents about specific issues or to support families by providing them with new ideas and information.

Staff training

If you are an early childhood service director this handbook can help you to provide information to staff to support them in implementing the guidelines. You can use each section as a focus for discussion with individual staff or work through a specific section in staff meetings.


If you are studying, this handbook provides useful information about caring for kids from birth to 5 years.

Producing resources

You can use the information in this handbook to develop local resources or parent newsletters.

Need more information?

In the back of this handbook you will find links to useful resources.

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What are the Get Up and Grow resources?

This staff handbook is part of the Get Up and Grow Indigenous specific resources. These resources are designed to support a consistent national approach to healthy eating and physical activity in a wide range of early childhood settings.

When using the guidelines and recommendations outlined in the staff handbook, early childhood services may also need to meet any other requirements set out in state, territory or federal regulatory arrangements.
  • These resources are based on 3 key national health documents that focus on children, which are:
  • The Infant Feeding Guidelines (2012) and the Australian Dietary Guidelines (2013), which form the basis for nutrition policy in Australia (available in Section 3: Further Reading).
  • The National Physical Activity Recommendations for Children 0 to 5 years, which has been developed to guide policy and practice around physical activity for young children.
  • The National Quality Framework which applies to long day care, family day care, preschool (or kindergarten) and outside schools hours care services. The National Quality Framework aims to raise quality and drive continuous improvement and consistency in education and care services.

Brochures for families

You can order these easy to read brochures for families:
  • Breastfeeding
  • Infant formula
  • First foods (introducing solids)
  • Good drinks for our kids
  • Healthy food, strong kids (1–5 years)
  • Get moving birth to 1 year (physical activity 0–1)
  • Get moving 1–5 years (physical activity 1–5).

The posters listed below are also available:

  • Healthy food
  • Water, the best healthy drink
  • Wash your hands
  • Moving helps babies
  • Running, jumping and playing.

You can get additional copies of this handbook, the brochures and posters by contacting 1800 020 103 or by email.