Physical Activity at Daycare: Issues, Challenges and Perspectives
Early Years: An International Journal of Research and Development
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This study sought to examine London, Ontario‐based childcare providers’ perspectives of the barriers and facilitators to physical activity participation among preschoolers (i.e. children aged 2.5–5 years) attending daycare. A heterogeneous sample of childcare providers (n = 54; response rate 47%) working at public daycare facilities in London, Ontario participated. Using a qualitative methodology, eight semi‐structured focus groups were conducted between February and March 2009. Focus groups were audio recorded and transcribed verbatim. Inductive content analysis was used to code and categorize emerging themes. When asked to describe the barriers to engaging preschoolers in physical activity while at daycare, participants discussed inadequate equipment, insufficient space, daycare requirements and safety concerns, and weather. When asked to describe the facilitators, participants cited resources, music and the childcare providers themselves. This study’s findings provide contextual and descriptive information with potentially significant implications for childcare directors, parents and researchers to promote and support physical activity participation among preschoolers attending daycare.