Physical Activity Programming in Family Child Care Homes: Providers' Perceptions of Practices and Barriers

Bronwyn Fees, Stewart Trost, Melissa Bopp, David A. Dzewaltowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


Objective: To examine family child care home (FCCH) providers' perceptions of appropriate physical activity (PA), current practices, and perceived barriers to inclusion of PA within their programs. Design: A trained facilitator lead 4 focus group sessions of FCCH providers. Questions addressed providers' planning for PA, resources and barriers, and perceptions of children's engagement. Setting: Family child care homes. Participants: 32 FCCH providers (100% female) caring for children 6 weeks to 5 years old in predominantly mixed-age programs. Phenomenon of Interest: Types of and extent to which PA was offered for children and perceived barriers to PA in this setting. Analysis: Authors coded and analyzed transcriptions based on a socioecological framework using qualitative data analysis software. Results: Majority of providers reported running and dancing to music as the most common PA, generally in an unstructured context. Frequency varied from none to twice a day. Few providers reported planning intentionally for PA; any plans followed children's interests. Barriers to inclusion of PA included personal, programming, parent, environmental, and financial reasons. Providers requested training on PA, particularly ideas for experiences in mixed-age groups. Conclusions and Implications: Type, frequency, consistency, and duration of PA among FCCH homes vary widely. Implications include training on PA and resources tailored to the unique characteristics of family child care homes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)268-273
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Nutrition Education and Behavior
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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