Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Science


Health and Rehabilitation Sciences


Dr. Trish Tucker


Early childhood educators play an important role in influencing preschoolers’ physical activity levels. The current study sought to explore Early Childhood Education (ECE) students’ physical activity (PA)-related knowledge and educational experience. A total of 1,113 ECE students from 20 Ontario Colleges completed the study survey (online or on paper), which examined students’ PA course content; awareness of PA guidelines; understanding of health-related benefits of PA; self-efficacy to facilitate PA for preschoolers; as well as PA resource needs. Survey results identified that 72.1% of ECE students had not completed any PA/physical education specific courses, while only 28.7% were familiar with, and 2.0% accurately reported, the Canadian PA Guidelines for the Early Years. ECE students’ mean self-efficacy to facilitate PA ranged from 6.0-7.0 (out of 10.0). The results indicate that the current ECE college curriculum represents an excellent opportunity to provide future childcare providers with enriched PA-related training and support.