CENTRE FOR EARLY YEARS St Mary’s University College, Twickenham Dr Matthew Almond Director of the Centre for Workplace Health
AGENDA • Who are we, what have we been doing? • How active are children aged 3-5 years? • Guidelines for Physical Activity in Early Years • New Initiatives
Terminology • Physical Development – current EYFS term • Active Play • Physical activity • Movement • Fundamental Movement Skills • Outdoor Play • Active Travel
CURRENT NATIONAL SCENARIO: • More leadership, more direction • Clearer vision of what an Early Years Physical Activity programme should look like • No Guidelines just yet, need to be accepted by government. • Poor uncoordinated training opportunities and no support structure • Low priority of Early Years Physical Activity
What are we seeing? • Most practitioners in early years have little training or understanding of physical activity promotion. • Very little quality assured professional development. • Very uneven pattern of provision • Few settings have a named person responsible for developing Physical Literacy.
In a local authority of 4000 Early Years Practitioners • The majority of practitioners have an inadequate level of initial training and very little opportunity for professional development
LEVELS OF PHYSICAL ACTIVITY Okely, 2009 Using objective measures, most studies report that • pre-school children typically spend between 3%-5% of their waking day in MVPA, about 15-30 minutes /day. • Light intensity PA typically about 100-120 mins/day • Current average levels of physical activity (any activity, light plus MVPA)115-150 minutes/day
RATIONALE Okely, 2009 • Objective measures: pre-school children spend approx. 10-11 hrs/day in sedentary behaviour, TV ≈ 25% of this time • Subjective measures: 2 to 3 hrs/day watching television or other screen
Sedentary behaviour: what does research say? • This study highlights the importance of of avoiding prolonged uninterrupted periods of sedentary time. Healy et al Diabetic Care 31 (4) 661-666 2008 • It is time to consider excessive sitting as a serious health risk Hamilton et al Current cardiovascular Risk report 2 292-298 2008 • Research in Australia suggests that we may be sitting our way to poor health. Owen et al British Journal of Sports Medicine 43, 81-83 2009 • Children and adults in United States spend the majority of their waking day in sedentary behaviour. Matthew et al American Journal of Epidemiology 167 875-881 2008
Summary of Recommendations • 180 minutes per day • Need for more energetic and sustained activity • Need for skilful play and Practice • Sedentary Activity should be addressed • Screen time: Problematic
Opportunities for 180 minutes • Before walking to nursery • Walking to early years setting • Free flow at nursery • Break times • On walk home: playing with friends • Evening between 4 – 7 pm • Structured activity sessions
What do we need to do? • Develop a Physical Literacy Entitlement Framework to inform practice. • Generate training opportunities so that all practitioners can benefit • Develop a Mentoring programme to support Learning Networks • Persuade Local Authorities to use Learning Networks to reach all practitioners. • Provide an Implementation Guide • Make available resources (BHF National Centre)
Local Learning Networks led by a Mentor: • What should an Early Years Physical Literacy Programme look like and what practitioners need to do? • Establishing shared agreed practice • Training staff • Reflections on practice • Generating evidence of good practice
WHAT HAS THE CENTRE FOR EARLY YEARS DONE? • Developed a National Framework for Physical Literacy. • Completing a Practical Implementation guide • Undertaken pilot projects to understand the problems of training early years practitioners and what can be delivered. • Monitoring the impact of a training programme on practice.
WHAT WILL WE FOR BE DOING? • Making accessible the new Physical Activity Guidelines to all local authorities. • Providing Training opportunities for local mentors and practitioners • Trialling the Implementation guide • Providing access to an Early Years Resource Bank • Developing an e-learning programme
NEXT STEPS Any questions?