The West Somerset Opportunity Area has received funding through the Department for Education, with Somerset County Council commissioning the Youth Sport Trust (YST) to deliver Healthy Movers alongside Futures for Somerset.
The project is being delivered in 15 early years settings across West Somerset. The project ran from October 2018 to March 2020. The following report presents the executive summary of the final findings from YST Research evaluation of the project.
This research has demonstrated that Healthy Movers has been successfully adopted by many settings in West Somerset and has had a positive impact on the type and level of physical activity that is delivered for children. Children have demonstrated improvements in their physical literacy and wider development, which in turn will improve their school readiness and future life chances.
As a result of Healthy Movers, practitioners are reporting feeling more confident, competent and motivated in delivering physical development and physical activity for children aged 2 –4 years old, with Healthy Movers inspiring them to make changes to how they deliver physical activity in their setting.
Healthy Movers flexible delivery and simple resources has enabled it to be easily embedded into settings daily practice, which has helped to make it sustainable, with all settings reporting that they were likely to continue delivering Healthy Movers.
The key success factors of Healthy Movers have been the YST Healthy Movers staff, who have provided ongoing mentoring to the settings, plus the flexibility of the resources and activities, which have been simple and inclusive. A unique and valued aspect of the project has also been the opportunity to engage parents in the activities.