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.
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)
The following online resources can help you integrate physical activity in your child care setting:
- Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines: Guidelines for the Eeary Years (0-4 years) and for Children and Youth (5-17 years)
- Have a Ball Together: Provides information regarding physical activity and physical literacy, and includes over 100 fun ideas to get kids aged 0-6 years moving in any space!
- Active for Life: Website with resources to help educators facilitate the development of physical literacy during the early years.
- A Hop, Skip, and a Jump: Enhancing Physical Literacy: Activity-based resource to help children develop gross motor skills.
- Physical Activity Environment Self-Assessment Survey and Planning Toolkit: Toolkit to assess the physical activity environment of your child care setting to inform future programming and facility needs.