Early childhood educator training: The value of educating educators on movement, play, and physical literacy development – A three country case study



education of early childhood educators, play, physical activity, physical literacy development


A child's early movement and active play experiences influence their attitudes towards physical activity throughout their childhood and into adulthood (Blair, 1992). Yet, it has been suggested that early childhood educators (ECEs) may not recognize the importance of, or give enough attention to, movement skills and physical development opportunities for  young children (Clark, 2014; Whitehead, 2010). The education, or lack thereof, that ECEs receive could be an important factor. International comparisons of overall ECE preparation and training have demonstrated that some countries' ECEs are more highly educated than others (Howells and Sääkslahti, 2019). Using a case study approach, this paper conducts an analysis and comparison of three countries to examine the value and role of physical activity/movement education for ECEs to enable them to support physical literacy development in early childhood educational settings. In addition, lessons learned from creating such educational opportunities in the context of their various locations (Manitoba in Canada, Kent in England, and Escambia County, FL in U.S.A.) are discussed. A purposeful sample was used as these countries have relatively low levels of educational requirements for ECEs, yet children start attending early years’ education from the earliest life points (Howells & Sääkslahti, 2019).