Skip to content
Skip to main content

About this free course

Download this course

Share this free course

Physical and mental health for young children
Physical and mental health for young children

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Introduction and guidance


This free course, Physical and mental health for young children, lasts 24 hours, with 8 ‘sessions’. You can work through the course at your own pace, so if you have more time one week there is no problem with pushing on to complete a further study session. The eight sessions are linked to ensure a logical flow through the course. They are:

  • Session 1: Promoting the health of all children
  • Session 2: Patterns in young children’s health
  • Session 3: The benefits of promoting children’s health
  • Session 4: Preventable communicable and non-communicable health conditions
  • Session 5: Policies and curricula: global and national initiatives to promote babies and children’s health
  • Session 6: Introducing the Toolkit to identifying health priorities
  • Session 7: Professionals and parents working together
  • Session 8: Challenges and solutions to working together to promote children’s health
Download this video clip.Video player: Video 1 Introduction to the course
Copy this transcript to the clipboard
Print this transcript
Show transcript | Hide transcript
Video 1 Introduction to the course
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

Children across the world are precious, and it is up to the adults in their lives to do all they can to support and promote their health so that they can live the best life possible. However, the health of babies and young children is at a critical point; increased levels of poor mental health, high levels of childhood obesity and concerns about infectious diseases all make for a worrying picture of the state of our children’s health. However, there is a great deal that adults who care for and educate babies and young children can do to support and promote good health in practical and low-cost ways. This free course will increase your knowledge and skills in showing you ways that adults, both parents and professionals, can play an active role in supporting and promoting good health in babies and young children.

Learning outcomes

After completing this course, you will be able to:

  • explain why health promotion is important for babies and children
  • explore the contemporary conditions affecting babies and children’s mental and physical health
  • understand how early childhood pre-school settings can work with professionals and parents to promote children’s health
  • appreciate the factors that can impact on babies’ and children’s mental and physical health
  • identify and plan interventions to improve the health of babies and children.

Moving around the course

In the ‘Summary’ at the end of each session, you will find a link to the next session. If at any time you want to return to the start of the course, click on ‘Full course description’. From here you can navigate to any part of the course.

It’s also good practice, if you access a link from within a course page, to open it in a new window or tab. That way you can easily return to where you’ve come from without having to use the back button on your browser.

There are text boxes within the activities for you to make notes where it would be helpful. This saves for you to refer back to, and only you can access these notes, no one else is able to see them. Alternatively, you are welcome to make notes offline instead, for example in a notebook.

The Open University would really appreciate a few minutes of your time to tell us about yourself and your expectations for the course before you begin, in our optional start-of-course survey [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] . Participation will be completely confidential and we will not pass on your details to others.

Get started with Session 1.