Developing and Implementing a Physical Activity Policy

What is the benefit of having a physical activity policy?

A written policy on physical activity helps to guide staff and families.  It provides information on the approach to physical activity in your early years setting and helps to support an environment that promotes physical activity.  A policy acts as a guide for making decisions and choices every day.

For licensed providers Child Care Licensing Regulations (DOLSOP Active Play) require the development and implementation of an active play policy and a screen use policy.

Things to consider when developing a policy:

  • Write down what you currently do
  • Review the current practices and involve staff and families in the discussions 
  • Write down any changes to your current practice
  • Ensure the policy makes sense for your setting
  • Consider including areas addressed in Appetite to Play recommended practices such as:
    • Facilitated and unstructured physical activity
    • Outdoor play
    • Incorporation of fundamental movement skills
    • Playtime environment
    • Learning about physical activity
    • Role modelling
    • Screen time

Things to consider when implementing a policy:

  • Create a policy booklet 
  • Share the policy with families
  • Make the policy easily available for staff to access anytime
  • Remind families about policy in a newsletter
  • Monitor current healthy eating practices and identify practices not consistent with policy
  • Identify and address any possible issues with implementing the policy
  • Review all your policies regularly

Adapted from Model Policies for Creating a Healthy Nutrition and Physical Activity Environment in Child Care Settings and A Guide to Writing Nutrition and Physical Activity Policies & Procedures.