Early childhood education candidates’ perspectives of their importance and responsibility for promoting physical activity and minimizing screen-viewing opportunities in childcare: Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education: Vol 0, No 0


Educators strongly influence young children’s behaviors, and their perspectives regarding physical activity (PA) and screen-viewing (SV) may influence their provision in childcare. This study gathered early childhood education (ECE) candidates’ perspectives regarding: 1. the importance of their role(s) in promoting PA/reducing SV; 2. how their ECE program and personal PA may influence these perspectives; and, 3. their interest in PA/SV training. An online survey was completed by 1,292 ECE candidates from 61 programs. Descriptive statistics and chi-square tests explored these perspectives by PA/SV courses taken and by meeting the Canadian adult PA guideline. ECE candidates with PA-related training reported higher perceived importance (n= 2 items; p<.05*) and personal responsibility (n= 4 items; p<.05) for items related to teaching PA, compared to those without training. SV training was not reported to influence their perspectives. Candidates who reported meeting the PA guideline reported higher importance (n= 3 items; p<.05) and personal responsibility (n= 3 items; p<.05) for items related to promoting PA, than those not meeting the guidelines. Most candidates (77.5%-93.3%) showed interest in further PA/SV training. Findings underscore the benefit of PA-related training, and personal PA habits, with regard to positively influencing ECE candidates’ values and perceptions of their role in promoting PA in childcare.

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