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Hastings and Prince Edward Public Health
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Physical Activity in Child Care Settings

Physical activity is essential for healthy childhood growth and development. Children who are active when they are young grow up to be healthier adults with less risk of developing chronic diseases like diabetes or heart disease.

As a child care provider, you can give the children in your care a healthy start by providing the opportunity to be active. Plenty of active play helps children develop physical literacy. Physical literacy is about developing the fundamental movement skills that all children need such as running, throwing and hopping. The development of these movement skills give children the confidence and competence to participate in physical activity. 

Learning Modules for Child Care Providers

This 15-minute, online module reviews why a balanced day is important for children (Move, Sit, Sleep), the role you have as a child care provider in encouraging kids to be active, the 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for Children aged 0-4, and important health messages to send home with parents and guardians.

Two “Have a Ball Together” online learning modules were developed by the Best Start Resource Centre to help support continuing education regarding physical literacy and physical activity for those caring for children aged 0-6 years. 

Legislative Requirements

According to the Child Care and Early Years Act (2014), all licensed and unlicensed child care providers, including centres and home care environments, must meet requirements related to the following:

  • Indoor and outdoor play opportunities
  • Rest, sleep and quiet time
  • Indoor and outdoor play spaces and equipment (e.g. playgrounds)

Additional Resources

The following online resources can help you integrate physical activity in your child care setting:

News, Research and Reports RELATED TO: Child Care Providers

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Province of Ontario has Declared a Second Provincial Emergency to Address COVID-19 Crisis and Save Lives.  Read more.

Effective Thursday, January 14, 2021 at 12:01 a.m., the provincial government is issuing a stay-at-home order requiring everyone to remain at home with exceptions for essential purposes, such as going to the grocery store or pharmacy, accessing health care services, for exercise or for essential work.

Owner/operators of a businesses, workplaces and/or other community organizations who are unsure of how to adjust operations for COVID-19 are encouraged to visit sector specific guidance regarding provincial lockdown measures at Ontario.ca or call the Stop the Spread Business Information Line at 1-888-444-3659. If you are unable to find an answer to your questions or need further guidance, please fill out this web form.

During the provincewide shutdown, no indoor social gatherings are permitted, except with members of the same household (the people you live with). Individuals who live alone and single parents may consider having exclusive, close contact with another household. Outdoor gatherings must be limited to 5 individuals, and proper physical distancing must be maintained.

If you are concerned about potential exposure to a positive case of COVID-19, please be reassured that any contacts of a confirmed case will be contacted directly and monitored by public health.

Low-risk and indirect contacts should self monitor for symptoms for 14 days from the time of potential exposure and seek testing if symptoms develop. Low risk contacts do not need to isolate unless symptoms develop, and can continue to attend school/work/daycare while monitoring for symptoms.