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Hub caregivers learn how to help kids get Groovin’

GroovinWhere a child lives, learns and plays is one of the most important things determining whether they end up fit and healthy.

Children that grow up in environments that support healthy habits, such as regular opportunities for active play and access to healthy foods, are more likely to develop the skills and attitudes needed to lead healthy lives.

“We have an important role to play in a child’s life,” says Susan Quaiff, director at the HUB Family and Child Care Centre in Prince Edward County. “Providing opportunities for children in our care to be active and eat healthy food is key to helping them start out on the right path.”

Just as a child learns to speak by interacting with those around them, the same is true of learning to move with confidence. When young children learn fundamental movement skills such as balancing, jumping and catching a ball, they feel more confident being active. They are also more likely to be and stay active, both as children and when they become adults.

Local child care staff recently participated in the GROOVIN Tots workshop that highlighted fundamental movement skills. The workshop provided participants with strategies and skills to create environments that support physical activity.

Michelle Hillier, from The Groove EDGEucation, shared easy ways to enhance the opportunities for physical activity provided by child care centres. The workshop was funded by the Government of Ontario, through the Healthy Communities Partnership initiative.

“I learned some new ways to encourage children to be active during the day,” said Jane Kellog from Abigail’s Learning Centre. “The workshop reminded me that young children need to practice movement skills as well.”

“Only 7 per cent of children and youth are meeting the Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines,” says Jennifer Ronan, PHN at the Hastings & Prince Edward Counties Health Unit. “Everyone has a role to play to ensure the environment supports physical activity. Creating more opportunities for active play in child care centres is just one way to do this.”

Click here for more information on programs at The Hub Child and Family Centre.

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