Publication Details

Jones, R. A., Sousa-Sa, E., Peden, M. & Okely, A. D. (2019). Childcare physical activity interventions: A discussion of similarities and differences and trends, issues, and recommendations. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 16 (23), 4836-1-4836-13.


Early childhood education and care (ECEC) settings have a pivotal role in the promotion of physical activity for young children, and thus, the number of ECEC-based physical activity interventions has exponentially increased in the last two decades. The aim of this study was three-fold: (1) to discuss some of the similarities and differences in ECEC-based physical activity interventions, (2) to highlight current trends and issues in the ECEC sector relating to such interventions, and (3) to provide recommendations for future interventions. Twenty-four individual studies are discussed. Most studies have targeted children aged between 3 and 5 years and involved children participating in additional physical activity opportunities while at childcare. In all studies, educators participated in some professional development either prior or during the intervention. Less the half of the studies discussed reported significant positive changes in physical activity outcomes. Those involved in developing future interventions will need to consider current national and international trends in the ECEC sector (e.g., over-crowded curriculum, administrative requirements, and more highly-qualified educators devoting time for business development), as well as creative and unique ways of delivering ECEC-based physical activity interventions.



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