Stawell's Early Learning Centre and Willaura and District Preschool have be awarded for their efforts to improve the oral health of some of the youngest members of the community.
As part of Smiles 4 Miles, an oral health promotion program for preschool-aged children (developed by Dental Health Services Victoria and implemented in partnership with Grampians Pyrenees Primary Care Partnership throughout the Ararat Rural City, Pyrenees Shire and Northern Grampians Shire), the preschools are being awarded for implementing a curriculum that promotes good oral health and general wellbeing among its children.
The Smiles 4 Miles program encourages preschools to implement healthy eating and oral health policies, engage with families about the importance of oral health, and educate children through a variety of fun learning experiences based on the Drink well, Eat well and Clean well messages.
Grampians Pyrenees Primary Care Partnership Smiles 4 Miles coordinator, Lauren Dempsey said the program is a great way to help children achieve and maintain healthy teeth and gums for life.
"Good habits are formed early. Children take lessons they learn at a young age with them, right up to adulthood," she said.
"By promoting good oral health behaviours early in life, we can decrease the likelihood of poor oral health later in life.
"The Smiles 4 Miles program is a great way to get children thinking about their role in their own health and wellbeing and to encourage healthy habits from an early age."
Willaura and District Preschool and Stawell Early Learning Centre have fulfilled the award criteria for the Smiles 4 Miles program and will continue to be a part of the two-year award program into 2014.