Outdoor Physical Activity in Childcare

Reach was approached by a collaboration of partners in the childcare and wellbeing sector who were looking to understand the opportunities to reduce the likelihood of childhood obesity when children reach school age. In March 2017, an independent expert, the Wellbeing Planner, conducted a series of interviews with parents and staff at 5 childcare settings. Results showed that settings deliver a range of opportunities to be active in the outdoors but that there are limitations. For example, time to get children to the toilet, dressed in outdoor clothes and returning within the childcare session times.

The study also concluded that the time spent at settings cannot cover enough daily hours of physical activity. Interventions are needed to keep children active, engaging parents/carers too. Parents felt unable to be more active outdoors because of lack of information, the weather and the needs of the child. They said their children were mostly active in nearby parks, mostly at weekends, and that walking was their routine activity.