This research project has ended. View a list of current research projects or past projects.

DFM Key Personnel

  • Tara LaRowe, PhD – Principal Investigator
  • Courtney Saxler


The Department of Family Medicine received funding from the UW Institute of Clinical and Translational Research on a collaborative project with the University of Minnesota’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute.

Summary of Project

Dr. Tara LaRowe, UW-Madison and Dr. Susie Nanney at the U of Minnesota, have developed a bi-state survey to understand the challenges that early child care and education providers might face if improving nutrition and physical activity best-practices in childcare. A random sample 2,000 Head Start, Center-  and Family-based, and all tribal serving licensed providers in Minnesota and Wisconsin are being asked to complete a 30-minute survey either by paper, the Internet (preferred) or by phone.  The survey asks questions in five areas: current practice of model nutrition and physical activity standards, barriers to practicing standards, provider training and needs, beliefs/attitudes/knowledge, and demographics.


The reason for the study is to gather information to determine how to best approach the issue of improving healthy eating and physical activity environments in child care settings serving children ages 2-5 years.


A stratified random sampling scheme was used to select representative samples of WI licensed center and family-based providers. A total of 1,117 providers were invited to participate in the survey; 500 center, 500 family and 117 tribal providers. A 109-item survey was developed and completed by phone, hard copy or online by providers.