It's Time to Act - The Role You Play in Childhood Obesity

The shocking truth

The shocking statistics on childhood obesity are eye opening.  With the majority of this excess weight being gained in the pre-school years, leaders have a responsibility to help the children in their care.

Childhood Obesity - A Ticking Time Bomb

But what can you do to help?  Sue Daniels, day manager of The Strawberry Patch Nursery in Norfolk, explains why they chose dance and movement trainer, Helen Battelley, to help them deliver preventative measures at their pre-school.

Making activity matter

Like all early years settings, to meet these challenges it comes down to time and budgets, so we’ve had to think outside the box to try and maximise the value we get from any investment.

We used to have an external EYFS specialist come in once a week to deliver dance, movement, singing and  music sessions for a couple of hours.  This was great, but meant that the activity was limited to the children who were present during that time, so many were missing out.

Dance and Movement

Taking ownership

We have a healthy number of staff here so we took the time to send one of our practitioners on Helen's course to learn her Dance and Movement activities so that they can be embedded in our timetable. Being able to deliver the courses from an in-house resource has brought with it many advantages.

Once the course was paid for, and it wasn’t expensive, there was no weekly outlay so the ongoing costs were minimised.  On a day to day basis, this means that we can now run as many movement and dance sessions per week as we like, which opens up the activity to all our children. Another bonus is that, because we have our in-house expert, we can tie sessions in with other activities in the pre-school.  The dance class, for example, may relate back to a story we’ve been reading.

Queuing up to be active

It’s been brilliant to have Helen's input as it has given us a new perspective into the importance of dance and movement.  It’s also been very motivational for both staff and pupils.  It gives the children confidence, helps with their language and keeps them active.  We now have the ability to create an inspiring environment where children can engage and learn through a range of stimuli whilst being active.  It also helps us to meet our EYFS framework criteria.

Activity and healthy eating are at the heart of helping every child get the best start in life but, perhaps the most important thing, is that the children enjoy it so much.  They literally are queuing up to be active, they are so motivated. They go home singing new songs to their parents with all the actions, so the parents get to enjoy it too.  Happy faces all around.