Our History

For over a decade, the Nutrition and Physical Activity Self-Assessment for Child Care, or NAP SACC program, has worked with early care and education programs to set preschool children on a lifelong path to healthy eating and activity.

NAP SACC was created in 2002 by a team of child obesity researchers at UNC Chapel Hill in association with colleagues in the Nutrition Services branch at the North Carolina Division of Public Health. Conversations with early care and education providers, families, and experts in child health and education guided NAP SACC’s early development. The team brought these perspectives together with current research and national standards to develop a set of best practices—the most important actions child care programs could take to shape children’s healthy eating and physical activity habits.

The NAP SACC team developed self-assessment, action planning, and educational tools to help early care and education programs set goals and make improvements to their nutrition and physical activity practices. Technical assistance providers trained as NAP SACC consultants used these tools to coach programs through NAP SACC’s 5-Steps to healthy change.

Evaluation of NAP SACC

NAP SACC was successfully piloted in 2003. This was followed by a larger randomized controlled evaluation in 2005-2006. Results showed that the NAP SACC program helped centers improve their nutrition and physical activity policies and practices. Find more details about NAP SACC’s strong evidence base in Research Evidence.

NAP SACC Successes

In 2008, the Center for Excellence in Training and Research Translation recognized NAP SACC as an effective evidence-based program. They made NAP SACC training and program materials available free of charge on their website, thus bringing NAP SACC to a national audience.

NAP SACC has since been adopted across the US. In 2010, the White House Task Force on Childhood Obesity named NAP SACC as one of three innovative early childhood programs to help combat childhood obesity. The NAP SACC program has become a trusted, widely used tool for improving nutrition and physical activity in the child care setting.


Go NAP SACC is the next generation of NAP SACC, featuring new tools on an interactive website. The Go NAP SACC team has taken the same approach of using stakeholder input and research evidence to make informed and exciting improvements. Updates include resources for children from birth – 5 years, plus a new focus on breastfeeding and infant feeding, screen time, and outdoor play. Go NAP SACC can also tailor tools and recommendations for different child care settings, including family child care homes. Downloadable Go NAP SACC self-assessments are now available. Online interactive tools will be available to professionals in North Carolina in 2015.

Whether you’re a child care provider or a technical assistance professional, Go NAP SACC makes it easier than ever to give the children in your community a healthy start. Explore the Go NAP SACC website to see how Go NAP SACC can help you!