HALO Affiliate Investigator Dr. Kristi Adamo is lead author on a paper, “Does Intervening in Childcare Settings Impact Fundamental Movement Skill Development?,” that was recently published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. Citation details and a summary of the paper are below.

Adamo KB, Wilson S, Harvey AL, Grattan KP, Naylor PJ, Temple VA, Goldfield GS. Does Intervening in Childcare Settings Impact Fundamental Movement Skill Development? Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2016 May;48(5):926-32. doi: 10.1249/MSS.0000000000000838.

This paper has been selected as the feature article in the May issue of Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise and will likely garner considerable media attention. Congratulations, Kristi and team!


PURPOSE. Knowing that motor skills will not develop to their full potential without opportunities to practice in environments that are stimulating and supportive, we evaluated the effect of a physical activity (PA)-based intervention targeting childcare providers on fundamental movement skills (FMS) in preschoolers attending childcare centers. METHODS. In this two-arm cluster-randomized controlled trial, six licensed childcare centers in Ottawa, Canada, were randomly allocated into one of two groups (three controls, n = 43; three interventions, n = 40). Participants were between the ages of 3 and 5 yr. Childcare providers in the experimental condition received two 3-h workshops and a training manual at program initiation aimed at increasing PA through active play and several in-center “booster” sessions throughout the 6-month intervention. Control childcare centers implemented their standard curriculum. FMS were measured at baseline and 6 months using the Test of Gross Motor Development-2. RESULTS. Groups did not differ on sociodemographic variables. Compared with control, children in the intervention group demonstrated significantly greater improvement in their standardized gross motor quotient (score, 5.70; 95% confidence interval [95% CI], 0.74-10.67; P = 0.025 and gross motor quotient percentile, 13.33; 95% CI, 2.17-24.49; P = 0.020). Over the 6-month study period, the intervention group showed a significantly greater increase in locomotor skills score (1.20; 95% CI, 0.18-2.22; P = 0.022) than the control group. There was a significant decrease in the object control scores in the control group over the study period. CONCLUSIONS. A childcare provider-led PA-based intervention increased the FMS in preschoolers, driven by the change in locomotor skills. The childcare environment may represent a viable public health approach for promoting motor skill development to support future engagement in PA.