Preschool staff and parents’ perceptions of preschool children’s physical activity and fundamental movement skills from an area of high deprivation: a qualitative study

Clare Roscoe, Michael Duncan, Rob James

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Abstract

This study investigated preschool staff and parents’ perceptions of preschool children’s physical activity (PA) and fundamental movement skills (FMS), in relation to the environment, facilities, play and barriers to PA. Following institutional ethics approval, semi-structured focus groups were conducted in four preschools, with the inclusion of parents and staff of 2–4-year-old children from North Warwickshire, England. The focus groups consisted of between four and five participants and included both parents and staff. However, focus groups were homogeneous in terms of gender, socio-economic background and predominately homogeneous in ethnic background. Thematic analysis was used to identify key themes and subthemes. Emergent themes included: spacious outdoor environment, the use of climbing frames and outdoor equipment for promoting PA and developing FMS, who was responsible for PA; time, cost, health and safety concerns as barriers to PA and staff training. Findings suggest that preschools provide good opportunities for PA and FMS, especially for preschool children from low socio-economic backgrounds, allowing them access to outdoor exercise and equipment. However, results from the focus groups highlighted a need for more staff training and greater parental involvement in relation to PA and FMS opportunities, to further improve preschool children’s PA levels and develop their FMS. To increase PA and FMS in preschool children, interventions are required which continue with the current levels of PA in preschools, whilst including greater parental involvement and staff training for increasing PA levels and developing FMS
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)619-635
JournalQualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health
Volume9
Issue number5
Early online date3 May 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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deprivation
parents
Parents
Exercise
staff
Focus Groups
preschool child
Preschool Children
Group
Institutional Ethics
Economics
Equipment and Supplies
economics
England
Health Care Costs
moral philosophy
inclusion
Safety
gender

Keywords

  • Fundamental movement skills
  • low socio-economic background
  • physical activity
  • preschool children
  • thematic analysis

Cite this

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title = "Preschool staff and parents’ perceptions of preschool children’s physical activity and fundamental movement skills from an area of high deprivation: a qualitative study",
abstract = "This study investigated preschool staff and parents’ perceptions of preschool children’s physical activity (PA) and fundamental movement skills (FMS), in relation to the environment, facilities, play and barriers to PA. Following institutional ethics approval, semi-structured focus groups were conducted in four preschools, with the inclusion of parents and staff of 2–4-year-old children from North Warwickshire, England. The focus groups consisted of between four and five participants and included both parents and staff. However, focus groups were homogeneous in terms of gender, socio-economic background and predominately homogeneous in ethnic background. Thematic analysis was used to identify key themes and subthemes. Emergent themes included: spacious outdoor environment, the use of climbing frames and outdoor equipment for promoting PA and developing FMS, who was responsible for PA; time, cost, health and safety concerns as barriers to PA and staff training. Findings suggest that preschools provide good opportunities for PA and FMS, especially for preschool children from low socio-economic backgrounds, allowing them access to outdoor exercise and equipment. However, results from the focus groups highlighted a need for more staff training and greater parental involvement in relation to PA and FMS opportunities, to further improve preschool children’s PA levels and develop their FMS. To increase PA and FMS in preschool children, interventions are required which continue with the current levels of PA in preschools, whilst including greater parental involvement and staff training for increasing PA levels and developing FMS",
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