Academic Journals & Research Data

Eurpoean Early Childhood Education Research Journal (EECERJ)
The EECERJ, the Journal of EECERA, is one of the most prestigious early childhood journals in the world. It is one of only four early years journals indexed by the Institute for Scientific Information. It can be purcahsed at Taylor and Francis Online

Early Years - An International Research Journal
TACTYC - Training, Advancement and Co-operastion in Taching Young Children - The Association for the Professional Development of Early Years EducatorsThe importance of early childhood education and care in providing the foundations for lifelong learning is now widely acknowledged. Early Years – An International Research Journal aims to broaden the international debate about the best provision for young children by representing a wide range of perspectives from different countries, different disciplines and different research methodologies.
As the official journal of TACTYC , Early Years publishes up-to-date papers on all issues associated with early years education.

Joy, play and doing together

Publications of the Ministry of Education and Culture, Finland 2016-12-03

Recommendations for physical activity in early childhood 

The Joy in Motion programme, aimed at increasing the level of physical activity in children’s day especially by increasing child-focused operating methods, was launched in Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) last year. The child has the right to be and act in ways peculiar to children, which means that the child uses his or her whole body when playing, moving and exploring. Research results have shown that this kind of physical activity supports the child’s holistic growth and development. Research results guide us adults by showing us what kind of physical activity and exercise we can use in our various roles to support children’s wellbeing. 


Addressing seasonal variation in children's physical activity

Physical activity across the seasons

Our analysis from the Age 7 survey of the UK Millennium Cohort Study used data collected by accelerometer on up to five occasions within a single calendar year. It showed:

  • Consistent with previous research, children were more active in spring and summer than autumn and winter. Moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA – i.e. that which requires a substantial amount of effort and noticeably increases the heart rate) was lower in both autumn and winter when compared to spring.
  • Average activity levels across the group peaked in April at 65.3 min/day and dropped to their lowest levels in February at 47.8 min/day.
  • The weekend effect: children’s weekend activity was more susceptible to seasonal influence than weekday activity. Physical activity was at its lowest at weekends during winter, and highest at weekends during early summer.
  • Gender differences: whilst boys were more active than girls throughout the year, boys’ activity varied more with the seasons than girls’ activity.


Exercise portrayal in children's television programs: analysis of the UK and Irish programming


Television-watching is obesogenic due to its sedentary nature and programming content, which influences children. Few studies have examined exercise placement within children-specific programming. This study aimed to investigate the frequency and type of exercise placement in children-specific television broadcasts and to compare placements on the UK and Irish television channels.


Content analysis for five weekdays' worth of children-specific television broadcasting totalling 82.5 hours on both the UK (British Broadcasting Corporation) and Irish (Radió Teilifís Éireann) television channels was performed. For the purposes of comparing the UK and Irish placements, analysis was restricted to programming broadcast between 6 am and 11.30 am. Exercise placements were coded based on type of activity, activity context, activity motivating factors and outcome, and characters involved.


Do thin, overweight and obese children have poorer development than their healthy-weight peers at the start of school? Findings from a South Australian data linkage study

Early Childhood Research Quarterly | Volume 35, 2nd Quarter 2016, Pages 85–94

International research utilizing the Early Development Instrument (EDI) as a measure of early child development

  • Little is known about how child development varies by BMI at the start of school.
  • Outcomes for thin and overweight children are similar as healthy-weight children.
  • Obese children are more likely to be developmentally vulnerable at the start of school, compared to health weight children.
  • Obese children have higher vulnerability with physical health and wellbeing, compared to healthy weight children.


2016 Child Health Profiles

Public Health England has published the 2016 Child Health Profiles. The profiles draw together information to present a picture of child health and wellbeing in each local area in a user-friendly format. They are a valuable tool for local government and health services in helping them to understand their communities’ needs, so that they can work to improve the health and wellbeing of children and young people and reduce health inequalities.


Preschool children's fundamental motor skills: a review of significant determinants

S. Iivonen & A.K. Sääkslahti , Early Child Development and Care (2013):
Preschool children's fundamental motor skills: a review of significant determinants, Early Child Development and Care, DOI: 10.1080/03004430.2013.837897

Summary:  This review found evidence from a number of studies for a positive association between domains of preschool-aged children’s FMS and gender, age, habitual physical activity, and preschool-based programmes. As only singular studies supported a positive association between different FMS domains and ethnicity, fitness, playfulness, participation in physical education lessons, and social and physical environment factors, the positive relationship between children’s FMS competence and these determinants remains uncertain.


Mothers’ perceptions of the UK physical activity and sedentary behaviour guidelines for the early years

BMJ | Qualitative research | 8 September 2015 

Objectives: Higher levels of physical activity (PA) during early childhood have been associated with improved health outcomes, whereas sedentary behaviour (SB) has been associated with poorer health outcomes in children. In 2011, the UK produced guidelines for PA and SB in children under 5 years. Mothers have been identified as key influences in young children's PA and SB. The aim of this study was to use in-depth interviews with mothers of preschool children to examine attitudes to the guidance.

Design: Qualitative study using one-to-one, semistructured interviews; Data were analysed thematically using a framework approach.

Setting: Mothers were recruited from preschools, nurseries, and mother and toddler groups located in four areas of varying socioeconomic status within Bristol, UK.

Participants:  24 mothers who were considered the main or joint carer for a preschool child who was at least 2 years of age but had not yet started formal schooling.


Children growing up without a garden more likely to be obese

Centre for Longitudinal Studies |  Millennium Cohort Study | September 2015

New research has found that young children with no access to a garden are far more likely to be overweight or obese by the time they reach seven.  

The research, led by a team based in the Netherlands, analysed information on 6467 children born in the UK in the year 2000-01, who are participating in the Millennium Cohort Study.

Researchers found that even when taking into account factors such as parents’ influence, food consumption, physical activity, education and poverty, not having a garden was a major risk factor in piling on weight.

Children from lower-educated households with with no access to a garden at ages three and five were at 38% increased risk of becoming overweight or obese by age seven.

Similarly, children from higher-educated househoulds living in disadvantaged neighourhoods, who lacked access to a garden, were also 38 per cent more likely to become overweight or obese by age seven.


Educational attainment and health transitions over the life course: testing the potential mechanisms

Journal of Public Health | 30 September 2015

ABSTRACT | Background | It has been shown that higher education associates with health outcomes, but the less is known about the specific mechanisms mediating this association. We examined whether higher education would associate with long-term health transitions from childhood to adulthood and whether health behaviors, self-esteem, social support and work-related health hazards could mediate or confound this association.

Methods | The participants were from a population based sample of 3596 men and women from the Young Finns study aged 3–18 years at the beginning of the study in 1980, and who responded to repeated surveys of educational attainment and self-rated health in four study phases from 1997 to 2012. The associations were tested using multistate Markov models for the health-state transition intensities.


The Lancet | Changes in health in England

Changes in health in England, with analysis by English regions and areas of deprivation, 1990–2013: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013 | Sept 2015


Background: In the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013 (GBD 2013), knowledge about health and its determinants has been integrated into a comparable framework to inform health policy. Outputs of this analysis are relevant to current policy questions in England and elsewhere, particularly on health inequalities. We use GBD 2013 data on mortality and causes of death, and disease and injury incidence and prevalence to analyse the burden of disease and injury in England as a whole, in English regions, and within each English region by deprivation quintile. We also assess disease and injury burden in England attributable to potentially preventable risk factors. England and the English regions are compared with the remaining constituent countries of the UK and with comparable countries in the European Union (EU) and beyond.


The Australian Early Development Census (AEDC)

About the AEDC

The Australian Early Development Census (AEDC) is an Australian Government Initiative.

It is a nationwide survey that shows how young Australian children have developed as they start their first year of full-time education.

The AEDC highlights what is working well and what needs to be improved or developed to support children and their families.

The AEDC is a census that helps create a snapshot of early childhood development in Australia. This census takes place every 3 years and the next one will happen in 2015.


Gestures research suggests language instinct in young children

Young children instinctively use a ‘language-like’ structure to communicate through gestures, according to psychologists.

Research led by the University of Warwick suggests when young children are asked to use gestures to communicate, their gestures segment information and reorganise it into language-like sequences. This suggests that children are not just learning language from older generations, their preference for communication has shaped how languages look today.

Dr Sotaro Kita from Warwick’s Department of Psychology led the study with Dr Zanna Clay at the University of Neuchatel, Ms Sally Pople at the Royal Hampshire Hospital and Dr Bruce Hood at the University of Bristol.


SIRC - The World's Leading Sport Resource Centre

Sport Information Resource Centre (SIRC) is a not-for-profit amateur sport organization with the mandate to provide information and serve the educational needs of organizations and individuals involved in, or responsible for the development of, sport and fitness in Canada and around the world.


Val Sabin Publications

Training - Action Kids - Activate - Positive Play - Equipment
Training and teaching manuals for Physical Education. Val Sabin Publications are used in a wide range of Early Years settings and schools 


Sport New Zealand

A government organisation responsible for sport and recreation. More kids playing and enjoying sport, more adults participating and getting involved. Sport New Zealand produces a series of booklets to encourage Early Years activity.


Canadian Sports For Life

Canadian Sport for Life (CS4L) is a movement to improve the quality of sport and physical activity in Canada. CS4L links sport, education, recreation and health and aligns community, provincial and national programming. Long-Term Athlete Development (LTAD)is a seven-stage training, competition and recovery pathway guiding an individual’s experience in sport and physical activity from infancy through all phases of adulthood. CS4L, with LTAD, represents a paradigm shift in the way Canadians lead and deliver sport and physical activity in Canada.


Physical Literacy
This website has been set up to enable all those interested in the concept of Physical Literacy to share papers and references.

Low Levels of Objectively Measured Physical Activity in Preschoolers in Child Care
John J Reilly - University of Glasgow Division of Developmental Medicine, Scotland