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The YSD i-Academy has joined forces with Active IQ to devise and launch a training course to enable Early Years’ practitioners, teachers and child minders to confidently deliver physical activity programmes to young children.

The first of its kind for Active IQ, the course represents a significant start point for accreditation of training for professionals working with very young children. Responding to the continued call to increase physical activity levels in young children, it aims to make a real impact in helping to address childhood obesity.

The two businesses have proved a powerful partnership. The Youth Sport Direct i-Academy team, via its relationship with Youth Sport Trust, has a wealth of experience through its knowledge of the needs of practitioners working with very young children. Active IQ took this knowledge to develop modules and assessment criteria that would ensure the course fulfils the need for Early Years’ physical activity practitioners.

The Active IQ Level 3 Award in Supporting Physical Development and Physical Activity in the Early Years provides learners with the knowledge and skills they’ll need to deliver fun and meaningful physical activity to children aged two to five years. It provides a sustainable approach to physical literary and also addresses the social and emotional wellbeing of young children in readiness for school.

“There is clear evidence to suggest that young people have stopped moving,” says Lori Randall, Head of YSD i-academy. “Changing patterns of eating, playing, travel and leisure have together led to unhealthy lifestyles for many children that continue into adulthood,” she continues. “Physical activity in the early years is a strong indicator of future behaviour in educational attainment which is why this training is so important.”

Recognising the importance of online learning and the need for this style of studying, the YSD i-Academy has developed the course so that participants can access the theoretical aspects of the course “anytime/anywhere”. This independent study dovetails with a high-quality, face-to-face training day, either in Loughborough or London, ensuring vital contact time with tutors and practical skills workshops.

“We are delighted to be working with the Youth Sport Direct i-Academy to launch this course which is our first to specially address the needs of professionals working with very young children,” says Jenny Patrickson, Managing Director of Active IQ. “The need for high-quality training among people who work with young children has never been greater with a lot of talk about combatting childhood obesity. By equipping Early Years teachers and trainers to deliver fun and meaningful activities, we hope to help YSD i-academy to start to turn the tide with this new qualification.”

The Active IQ Level 3 Award in Supporting Physical Development and Physical Activity in the Early Years covers a wide range of units developed by Active IQ to give practitioners far-reaching practical skills and knowledge. By the end of the course they will be able to:

  • Understand child development
  • Understand the importance of healthy, active lifestyles
  • Introduce the principle of physical literacy and fundamental movement skills • Promote the importance of healthy, active lifestyles
  • Support children to be ‘school-ready’

“It has never been more critical to consider the physical and emotional development of children within an early years setting,” says Lori. “The knowledge and skills provided by this course will up-skill Early Years practitioners and help address aspects of future OfSTED inspections,” she says. “Most importantly, however, it will enable Early Years professionals to improve the lives of young children by supporting them and their families in building a foundation for healthy and active lifestyles.”