Supplementary Policy Language: Physical Activity

Supplementary language for other policies that support physical activity

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Staff participation in physical activity with children.

Example: Staff members are expected to participate in physical activity with children. If staff members are unable to participate, they are expected to encourage children as they play (such as, “Wow, that was a big jump! Can you jump even higher?” or “You’re almost at the finish line! You can do it”). 

Practice Implications: This policy requires that staff participate in physical activity with children or encourage them. The program should ask potential staff members upon hiring them about their willingness or comfort with participating in physical activity. Staff members should be asked about which activities they feel comfortable participating in and encouraged to do so. Several staff members may be uncomfortable with participating due to their own physical fitness levels; in this case, the program can ask them to make positive and encouraging statements to children during physical activity.

Withholding play time as a punishment is prohibited.

Example: Children are not to be denied physical activity as discipline for negative behavior.

Practice Implications: This policy would require the program to find alternative means of behavioral management if withholding recess or play time is a current practice.

Example: Staff members will not use physical activity (e.g., running laps, pushups) or withhold opportunities for physical activity (e.g., outdoor play, swim time) as punishment.

Practice Implications: This policy also requires the program to refrain from using physical activity as a punishment, but is more specific, noting that physical activity should not be withheld or forced.

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