Roughly 60 percent of young children in this country attend some kind of formal child care or daycare program, for an average of around 30 hours a week. A new study published in the journal Pediatrics shows that most of those kids are not getting enough exercise there. Researchers observed 96 child care centers and 131 Head Start programs. They wanted to determine how much physical activity preschoolers were getting both inside and outside the classroom. They found that only about 4 in 10 child care programs gave the children enough opportunities and enough time for physical activity. The researchers believe parents should look for child care programs that offer outdoor play space and time. And teachers there play a role too, as kids whose child care teachers didn’t play with them outside got a half-hour less physical activity each day.
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