Advertisement

The Frequency of Outdoor Play for Preschool Age Children Cared for at Home-Based Child Care Settings

Published:September 14, 2012DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.acap.2012.06.010

      Abstract

      Objective

      Given that more than 34% of U.S. children are cared for in home-based child care settings and outdoor play is associated with physical activity and other health benefits, we sought to characterize the outdoor play frequency of preschoolers cared for at home-based child care settings and factors associated with outdoor play.

      Methods

      Cross-sectional study of 1900 preschoolers (representing approximately 862,800 children) cared for in home-based child care settings (including relative and nonrelative care) using the nationally representative Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Birth Cohort.

      Results

      Only 50% of home-based child care providers reported taking the child outside to walk or play at least once/day. More than one-third of all children did not go outside to play daily with either their parent(s) or home-based child care provider. There were increased odds of going outside daily for children cared for by nonrelatives in the child's home compared with care from a relative. Children with ≥3 regular playmates had greater odds of being taken outdoors by either the parents or child care provider. We did not find statistically significant associations between other child level (age, sex, screen-time), family level (highest education in household, mother's race, employment, exercise frequency), and child care level (hours in care, provider's educational attainment, perception of neighborhood safety) factors and frequency of outdoor play.

      Conclusions

      At a national level, the frequency of outdoor play for preschoolers cared for in home-based child care settings is suboptimal. Further study and efforts to increase outdoor playtime for children in home-based child care settings are needed.

      Keywords

      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'

      Subscribe:

      Subscribe to Academic Pediatrics
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect

      References

        • Reilly J.J.
        Physical activity, sedentary behaviour and energy balance in the preschool child: opportunities for early obesity prevention.
        Proc Nutr Soc. 2008; 67: 317-325
        • Janssen I.
        • LeBlanc A.
        Systematic review of the health benefits of physical activity and fitness in school-aged children and youth.
        Int J Behav Nutr Phys Activity. 2010; 7: 40
        • Ferreira I.
        • van der Horst K.
        • Wendel-Vos W.
        • et al.
        Environmental correlates of physical activity in youth—a review and update.
        Obes Rev. 2006; 8: 129-154
        • Cleland V.
        • Crawford D.
        • Baur L.A.
        • et al.
        A prospective examination of children's time spent outdoors, objectively measured physical activity and overweight.
        Int J Obes. 2008; 32: 1685-1693
        • Sallis J.
        • Prochaska J.
        • Taylor W.
        A review of correlates of physical activity of children and adolescents.
        Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2000; 32: 963-975
        • Milteer R.M.
        • Ginsburg K.R.
        Council on Communications and Media; Committee on Psychosocial Aspects of Child and Family Health. The importance of play in promoting healthy child development and maintaining strong parent-child bond: focus on children in poverty.
        Pediatrics. 2012; 129: e204-e213
        • Florez H.
        • Martinez R.
        • Chacra W.
        • et al.
        Outdoor exercise reduces the risk of hypovitaminosis D in the obese.
        J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2007; 103: 679-681
        • Kuo F.E.
        • Taylor A.F.
        A potential natural treatment for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: evidence from a national study.
        Am J Public Health. 2004; 94: 1580-1586
        • Fjortoft I.
        The natural environment as a playground for children: the impact of outdoor play activities in pre-primary school children.
        Early Childhood Educ J. 2001; 29: 111-118
        • Rose K.A.
        • Morgan I.G.
        • Ip J.
        • et al.
        Outdoor activity reduces the prevalence of myopia in children.
        Ophthalmology. 2008; 115: 1279-1285
        • Clements R.
        An investigation of the status of outdoor play.
        Contemporary Issues Early Childhood. 2004; 5: 68-80
        • Hofferth S.L.
        • Sandberg J.F.
        How American children spend their time.
        J Marriage Family. 2001; 63: 295-308
      1. Preventing Childhood Obesity in Early Care and Education: Selected Standards from Caring for Our Children: National Health and Safety Performance Standards; Guidelines for Early Care and Education Programs, 3rd Edition. American Academy of Pediatrics, American Public Health Association, and National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care and Early Education. 2012; Available at: http://nrckids.org/CFOC3/PDFVersion/preventing_obesity.pdf. Accessed June 28, 2012.

        • Iruka I.U.
        • Carver P.R.
        National Household Education Surveys Program of 2005: initial results from the 2005 NHES Early Childhood Program Participation Survey.
        National Center for Education Statistics, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education, Washington, DC2006
        • Christakis D.A.
        • Garrison M.M.
        Preschool-aged children’s television viewing in child care settings.
        Pediatrics. 2009; 124: 1627-1632
        • Tandon P.S.
        • Zhou C.
        • Lozano P.
        • et al.
        Preschoolers’ total daily screen time at home and by type of child care.
        J Pediatr. 2011; 158: 297-300
        • Trost S.G.
        • Messner L.
        • Fitzgerald K.
        • et al.
        Nutrition and physical activity policies and practices in family child care homes.
        Am J Prev Med. 2009; 37: 537-540
        • Temple V.
        • Naylor P.-J.
        • Rhodes R.E.
        • et al.
        Physical activity of children in family child care.
        Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2009; 34: 794-798
        • Gunter K.B.
        • Rice K.R.
        • Ward D.S.
        • et al.
        Factors associated with physical activity in children attending family child care homes.
        Prev Med. 2012; 54: 131-133
      2. Chernoff JJ, McPhee C, Park J. Preschool: first findings from the preschool follow-up of the early childhood longitudinal study, birth cohort (ECLS-B). October 2007; Available at: http://purl.access.gpo.gov/GPO/LPS118484. Accessed June 29, 2012.

        • Burdette H.
        • Whitaker R.
        • Daniels S.
        Parental report of outdoor playtime as a measure of physical activity in preschool-aged children.
        Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2004; 158: 353-357
        • Hosmer D.W.
        • Lemeshow S.
        Applied Logistic Regression.
        Wiley, New York1989
        • National Association for Sport and Physical Education
        Active Start: A Statement of Physical Activity Guidelines for Children Birth to Five Years.
        National Association for Sport and Physical Education, Reston, VA2002
        • Pate R.R.
        • Pfeiffer K.A.
        • Trost S.G.
        • et al.
        Physical activity among children attending preschools.
        Pediatrics. 2004; 114: 1258-1263
        • Reilly J.
        • Jackson D.M.
        • Montgomery C.
        • et al.
        Total energy expenditure and physical activity in young Scottish children: mixed longitudinal study.
        Lancet. 2004; 363: 211-212
        • Fisher A.
        • Reilly J.J.
        • Kelly L.A.
        Fundamental movement skills and habitual physical activity in young children.
        Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2005; 37: 684-688
        • Tucker P.
        The physical activity levels of preschool-aged children: a systematic review.
        Early Childhood Res Q. 2008; 23: 547-558
        • Stenhammar C.
        • Sarkadi A.
        • Edlund B.B.
        The role of parents' educational background in healthy lifestyle practices and attitudes of their 6-year-old children.
        Public Health Nutr. 2007; 10: 1305-1313
        • Ward D.S.
        Physical activity in young children: the role of child care.
        Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2010; 42: 499-501
        • Trost S.G.
        • Ward D.S.
        • Senso M.
        Effects of child care policy and environment on physical activity.
        Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2010; 42: 520-525
        • Bower J.K.
        • Hales D.P.
        • Tate D.F.
        • et al.
        The childcare environment and children’s physical activity.
        Am J Prev Med. 2008; 34: 23-29
        • Dowda M.
        • Pate R.R.
        • Trost S.G.
        • et al.
        Influences of preschool policies and practices on children’s physical activity.
        J Community Health. 2004; 29: 183-196
        • Pate R.R.
        • McIver K.
        • Dowda M.
        • et al.
        Directly observed physical activity levels in preschool children.
        J Sch Health. 2008; 78: 438-444
        • Fairclough S.J.
        • Boddy L.M.
        • Hackett A.F.
        • et al.
        Associations between children’s socioeconomic status, weight status, and sex, with screen-based sedentary behaviours and sport participation.
        Int J Pediatr Obes. 2009; 4: 299-305
        • Marshall S.J.
        • Biddle S.J.H.
        • Sallis J.F.
        • et al.
        Clustering of sedentary behaviors and physical activity among youth: a cross-national study.
        Pediatr Exerc Sci. 2002; 14: 401-417
        • Zhu X.
        • Lee C.
        Walkability and safety around elementary schools: economic and ethnic disparities.
        Am J Prev Med. 2008; 34: 282-290
        • Lovasi G.S.
        • Hutson M.A.
        • Guerra M.
        • et al.
        Built environments and obesity in disadvantaged populations.
        Epidemiol Rev. 2009; 31: 7-20
        • O’Connor J.P.
        • Temple V.A.
        Constraints and facilitators for physical activity in family day care.
        Aust J Early Childhood. 2005; 30: 1-9
        • Fees B.
        • Trost S.
        • Bopp M.
        • et al.
        Physical activity programming in family child care homes: providers' perceptions of practices and barriers.
        J Nutr Educ Behav. 2009; 41: 268-273
        • Tucker P.
        • van Zandvoort M.M.
        • Burke S.M.
        • et al.
        Physical activity at daycare: childcare providers’ perspectives for improvements.
        J Early Childhood Res. 2011; 9: 207-219
        • Copeland K.A.
        • Sherman S.N.
        • Kendeigh C.A.
        • et al.
        Societal values and policies may curtail preschool children’s physical activity in child care centers.
        Pediatrics. 2012; 129: 265-274