WeTHRIVE! child care spotlight: Donna Turnbow-Williams

Donna Turnbow-Williams believes that “you get out what you put in.” And she puts a lot into her role as an in-home child care provider in Forest Park.

Consider the time and energy she has put into educating herself and improving her child care business in just the past two years:

OHP is a statewide yearly recognition program for child care providers who go above and beyond licensing requirements when it comes to the health and wellness of the children they serve. To qualify, Donna completed 15+ hours of training on healthy eating and physical activity with Andrea Liptak, RD, LD of Hamilton County Public Health (HCPH).

Donna’s motivation

Health and education are very important to Donna — who is a breast cancer survivor — and her family.

“I’m from a family of ten siblings and four are still alive,” Donna said. “Most passed away under the age of 60.” Cancer, heart disease, and diabetes run in her family.

Donna also comes from a family of educators, which is one reason she decided to become a child care provider after retiring from a 33-year career as a manager with the U.S. Postal Service.

Go above & beyond

Only 27 child care providers in Hamilton County are Ohio Healthy Programs. Donna encourages others to do what it takes to earn this recognition.

“Education is the key to everything and I don’t think you can ever get enough of it,” she said. “When you’re dealing with feeding other people’s children, and you’re probably feeding them most of what they’ll eat for that day … I can’t imagine not getting additional education in the department of healthy eating.”

Changes for healthy children

Being part of the WeTHRIVE! Child Care Initiative enhances what she’s been doing, Donna says. She has replaced sugary cereals and processed meat products with healthier options. Children are trying new fruits and vegetables (ruby red grapefruit is a surprising favorite!). And she is more aware of serving sizes.

“I am much more knowledgeable about food guidelines and working with children for the betterment of their health,” Donna said. “This is something I can share with my parents … you don’t just stop at one thing when you’re trying to develop children’s habits for the rest of their lives.”

“This is so important, because I’m dealing with people’s children at the beginning of their lives, when we’re trying to get them going in the right direction.”

Read about other WeTHRIVE! child care providers: