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New report finds active play helps two to four-year-olds prepare for school

Futures for Somerset have now been working alongside Somerset County Council, the DfE and the Youth Sport Trust since Spring 2018 to deliver the ‘Healthy Movers Project’ as part of the West Somerset Opportunity Area Programme.

The programme aims to help children and young people from disadvantaged families to do well at school and to improve their life chances and employment opportunities. The Healthy Movers Project is part of this wider programme of activities, and looks to provide children age 2-4 with the physical skills and confidence that they need in order to achieve a ‘Good Level of Development’ which will help to smooth their transition to school.

Following a programme of activities including staff training, delivery of Healthy Movers sessions in Early Years settings and family stay and play clubs, the Youth Sport Trust have produced their Interim Evaluation Report – which looks to map the successes and lessons learnt from the first year of delivery.

The report includes the results of practitioner and parent surveys, early years data and a number of case studies, and is supported by a short film which captures snapshots from Healthy Movers projects across a number of Early Years settings in West Somerset.

The report statistics and film can be found by clicking on the following links:

The report concludes that a significant number of children have improved their physical skills, have more confidence to participate with physical activities, and enjoy being more active. The project has also contributed to wider development goals including increased listening, understanding, and teamwork. The project has been well received by Early Years practitioners and parents, with parents reporting an increased understanding of the benefits and importance of physical activity and development.

Futures for Somerset are pleased to continue working with the Youth Sport Trust as the project enters its second year of delivery and look forward to building on the progress made, and the experiences gained to date. The project is scheduled to conclude in Spring 2020 when a final Evaluation Report will determine the overall effectiveness of the project.


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