ChildForum Office of Pre-Primary Education

ChildForum Office of Pre-Primary EducationLead advisor on early childhood care and education 
National membership 
organisation

Publisher of the New Zealand-International Research in Early Childhood Journal

 

Participation in ECE (but Not ECE itself) is Associated With Greater Weight Gain in Children

© ChildForum

Children who spent more time in an early childhood centre on average put on more weight compared to children who spent less time in childcare or were cared for at home – this is what researchers at the University of Montreal and the CHU Sainte-Justine Hospital Research Centre in Canada found when they followed the development of children from some 1649 families.

The findings highlight an opportunity for early childhood services to do more to ensure children’s good nutrition and provide more for physical activity. 

New Zealand early childhood education services and parents spoken to by the New Zealand Herald newspaper, suggested that this was already happening in NZ as they helped parents to learn more about nutrition and health, children had plenty of opportunities for exercising, and many services have healthy eating policies with several employing their own chefs to cook meals for the children which are nutritionally balanced.

The most recent obesity figures for children in NZ were released in June 2008, showing that 8.3% of children aged 2 to 14 were obese and 20.9% were overweight.  The next obesity figures for children are expected to be released soon, based on results of the 2011/12 New Zealand Health Survey.

In NZ early childhood service, the rules for  20-Hours ECE funding allow services to charge parents for food provided as this has been categorised  as an ‘optional extra’ rather than as something that should be provided as a minimum standard for children’s care and health. In response to recent funding reductions some ECE services say they have responded by cutting out children’s meals and asking parents to supply food for their children (for survey results click here).  

Read more about the Canadian research and also UK research on associations between infant weight and childcare use by clicking here. 

Are you interested in joining us? 
Become a member and also gain access to our significant online knowledge base 

Membership Options

Personal
Membership

Who is this for?
Ideal for parents, students, teachers, researchers, teacher educators, policy analysts and children's specialists.
$98.00 12 months from the date of joining
or for students $60.00 short-term 6 month access.
Your own personal username and password.

ECE Service 
Group Membership

Who is this for?
A service that has licenced one or more ECE services with the Ministry of Education (including home-based, parent, and teacher-led).
Starting from $198.00. Provides 12 months membership from the date of joining.
A shared username and password for your service group.

NZ-International Research in
ECE Journal Subscription

Who is this for?
Libraries, universities, polytechnics and organisations wishing to have access to the NZIRECE published journal and its articles.
$150.00 annual renewable in November each year.
A username and password or IP address access.