Learn how to ensure young children do enough physical activity and how it improves child mental and physical health development.
Weekly study3 hours
Supporting Physical Development in Early Childhood
Discover the benefits of physical activity for children and babies
On this course, you’ll discover the importance of physical activity for young children’s overall development.
As you explore the holistic health and developmental benefits of physical activity, you’ll learn low cost, effective ways of ensuring babies and young children meet the 180 minutes per day of recommended activity.
You’ll find out how physical activity can improve child mental health and wellbeing, as well as contribute to the prevention of childhood obesity.
The course draws on research and expertise from academics from early childhood, sport and fitness at Public Health England.
What topics will you cover?
• Growth and physical development of babies and young children
• The relationship between physical development and other areas of development
• Why physical development should be supported
• Factors that can impact supporting babies and young children’s physical development – challenges and solutions
• Supporting physical development through indoor and outdoor play and activities
When would you like to start?
Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.
Learning on this course
On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.
What will you achieve?
By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...
- Identify the importance of movement skills to the overall health, wellbeing and development of young children
- Explore the relationship between physical growth and development
- Describe the body systems and their relationship to moving and learning
- Describe the relationship between movement skills/language and communication skills/literacy
- Identify the appropriate physical/movement activities for each age and stage of development from 0–5 yrs
- Explore how parents and practitioners can work together to support the physical development of all children
Who is the course for?
The course is designed for adults involved in caring for or educating babies and young children.
As well as being aimed at practitioners in the workforce, the course will give adults, including parents, who are involved in the care and education of babies and young children the opportunity to access evidence-based research.
Who will you learn with?
Jackie is part of the Early Childhood at the Open University team. Her research and teaching explores ways of working with professionals and parents to improve young children's health.
Angela is an experienced and competent public health consultant who has worked across every level of the NHS, within local government and nationally within Public Health England.
Lala has enjoyed a long and varied career in the field of EY movement studies and physical development: as teacher, trainer, educator, consultant, researcher, author and broadcaster.
Ben lectures in Sports Coaching at The Open University. His research focuses on youth sport, athlete monitoring and golf. He is also a strength and conditioning coach to junior and adult golfers.
Jo is a lecturer in Early Childhood at The Open University. She was a primary school teacher and is convinced of the importance of physical development in a child's overall development and learning.
Lucy joined The Open University in 2019 as a lecturer in Early Childhood, following a career as an early years practitioner, consultant and trainer.
Who developed the course?
UK Health Security Agency
The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) is responsible for planning, preventing and responding to external health threats by providing intellectual, scientific and operational leadership at national and local level, as well as on the global stage. UKHSA is an executive agency, sponsored by the Department of Health and Social Care.
LocationMilton Keynes, UK
World rankingTop 510Source: Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2020
Learning on FutureLearn
Your learning, your rules
- Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
- Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
- Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores
Join a global classroom
- Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
- Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
- Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others
Map your progress
- As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
- Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
- Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate
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