An Active Lifestyle is Child's Play

By cypscadmin, Friday, 22nd October 2021 | 0 comments
Filed under: Health, Parenting Support, Evidence.

Galway CYPSC and partners to pursue an Active Play strategy that simultaneously supports parents and childcare facilities to deliver to 0 - 3 year olds.

The principal finding of a new research study indicates that by pursuing a strategy that simultaneously supports parents and childcare facilities to deliver active play opportunities to Galway's 0 to 3 year olds, services can maximise the potential of virtuous “positive feedback loops” and establish healthier lifestyles for future generations. The research study, resulting in a Summary Report and Toolkit called ACTIVE PLAY FOR 0-3 YEAR OLDS IN GALWAY CITY: A Summary Report and Strategy Toolkit, was undertaken jointly by the Applied Systems Thinking Group in the National University of IrelandI, Galway and the Health Service Executive’s Health Promotion and Improvement Unit in Galway, as part of the programme of work being implemented by Galway CYPSC Early Years Sub-Group. 

Evelyn Fanning of the HSE Health Promotion and Improvement Unit explained that the CYPSC Early Years Sub-Group considered the focus of the research to be highly significant, she explained

“For young children to grow and develop they need frequent, energetic, physical activity. ‘Active play’ strengthens bones, muscles and helps develop the brain. What’s more, instilling good habits early has a huge impact on later lifestyle and health.”

Galway’s overarching goal is to identify evidence-based strategies to promote active play that cover multiple-levels and multiple stakeholders across the city.  A Systems Map produced through the research demonstrates that a lack of integration between national and local policy as well as issues relating to parenting and parents’ lifestyles act as the dominant dynamics that currently undermine active play. The map also shows that supporting parents and childcare settings, in tandem with some targeted interventions, act as enablers to facilitate active play.

Morgan Mee, Galway CYPSC Co-ordinator, welcomed the research and thanked Dr. Christine Domegan and Tina Flaherty from NUI, Galway as well as Evelyn Fanning in the HSE’s Galway Health Promotion and Improvement Unit, saying

‘the high level of expertise and knowledge available locally in Galway is a great advantage to local service providers. Research projects like this are so useful in focusing the work of all services across the statutory, community and voluntary sectors’.

Download ACTIVE PLAY FOR 0-3 YEAR OLDS IN GALWAY CITY: A Summary Report and Strategy Toolkit 

Visit Galway CYPSC webpages.