- Author: Deepa Srivastava, Ph.D.
The UCCE promotes healthy people and communities through an engaging physical activity workshop series where 63 early childhood education professionals reported positive learning experiences and the intention to adopt physical activity practices in early childhood education classrooms.
Nutrition education technical assistance training for early childhood professionals create learning opportunities to improve attitudes, knowledge, skills, and practices. However, it is often a challenge to keep up with nutrition and physical activity education training due to the demands of their work schedules. Early childhood professionals who care for children play an essential role in providing age-appropriate physical activity opportunities that promote lifelong health.
How UC Delivers
In 2020, the CalFresh Healthy Living, UCCE Kings Nutrition Educators Susan Lafferty and Eldon Bueno conducted a fun and interactive physical activity workshop at the Professional in Early Childhood Education Conference organized by West Hills College Child Development Center, Kings County, CA. Participants (n=63) learned to use the evidence-based curriculum, Coordinated Approach to Child Health (CATCH), to increase children's enjoyment and participation in moderate to vigorous physical activity, including extracurricular activities with family and friends. Participants showed positive attitudes and reception for the activities conducted.
After completing the physical activity workshop, early childcare professionals reported their current practice and intent to change. Of the 63 participants who completed our intent-to-change survey, 35% (22 of 63) reported not being physically active for at least 30 minutes most days in the past week. Of the 22 participants who had not been physically active, 64% reported that they would be physically active for at least 30 minutes a day more often within the next week. Additionally, open-ended qualitative survey responses indicated participants' positive learning experiences as a result of the workshop, and expressed intent to increase the frequency and quality of their physical activity and their classrooms' physical activity. According to the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans (2018), regular moderate-to-vigorous physical activity reduces the risk of many chronic diseases among children and adults. This intervention fosters healthy childcare environments as part of UC ANR's commitment to promoting health and wellness in the community.
“It will help me support our preschool teachers to increase moderate to vigorous activity in our centers.”
“It will help incorporate physical activity into my classroom, not just recess.”
“Learned about physical activity and how to be more physical active.”
“To have more physical activities throughout the day and having a small activity can help my children."