Why is physical activity important in early childhood services for infants and young children?
Physical activity is vital for a child’s development and lays the foundation for a healthy and active life. Early Childhood Services are ideally placed to foster the development of good physical activity habits early in life and to encourage families to engage in regular physical activity together.
Early childhood services should offer a wide choice of play-based, physically active learning experiences that link to children’s interests, abilities, identity and prior knowledge.
Physical activity in childcare needs to be made up of both structured (i.e. intentionally taught) physical activity and unstructured, spontaneous activity. In addition, as active role models, educators can encourage children to participate in physical activity.
The benefits of physical activity for young children include but is not limited to:
- promoting healthy growth and development
- helping to achieve and maintain a healthy weight
- building strong bones and muscles
- improving cardiovascular fitness
- improving balance, coordination and strength; and
- improving sleep.
Inspire prides themselves on incorporating at least 45 minutes of structured and unstructured physical activity in our program every day.
(Source: Healthy Kids | Physical Activity https://www.healthykids.nsw.gov.au/teachers-childcare/physical-activity.aspx )