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

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4 Health promotion in education settings

As many babies and children attend an education setting and spend many hours each day either in a pre-school or school setting, this is an ideal place to promote children’s health.

If you are an Early Childhood Education and Care educator, you will already have many activities or interventions that promote health built into the routines of your setting. In England, the EYFS, which stands for Early Years Foundation Stage (Department for Education, 2024), statutory guidance includes many aims that are linked to promoting the health of children; the aims are summarised in Session 5. Therefore, some of the activities will be influenced by the need to comply with the EYFS.

Around 90 per cent of children around the world attend primary school (World Health Organisation 2023), therefore delivering interventions that promote health in schools means that positive messages about health can target a large audience. The World Health Organisation website Health Promoting Schools [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] has many useful resources. In Session 5, there is more about the ways that health is promoted through curricula.

A photograph of a group of children, smiling
Figure 9 children in school are a target audience for health promotion interventions

When children start primary school, their health is promoted through the school nurse services.