Loughborough University is offering a PhD opportunity on a research topic dedicated to physical activity and active play in the early years of children with disabilities.

Early years settings are the first educational placement for many children with disabilities, and the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Framework sets out that settings must provide details about how they support children with disabilities in their attendance. Physical development is a core area in the EYFS Framework and includes opportunities for children to develop their fine and gross motor skills, alongside their coordination and core strength.

Much of this is delivered through physical activity and active play opportunities. However, little is understood about how physical development opportunities are facilitated for the growing number of children with disabilities attending early years settings. The PhD research opportunity intends to address this gap by examining physical development, physical activity, and active play for young children with disabilities in early years settings.

Alongside a systematic review of existing literature, the project would benefit from a mixed methods (qualitative and quantitative) approach, engaging both early years practitioners and parents to:

  1. Examine perceptions, experiences and attitudes about facilitating physical activity, active play and physical development opportunities with young children who have disabilities;
  2. Observe the physical activity and physical development environments for young children with disabilities; and
  3. Develop a toolkit for early years practitioners about inclusive physical activity, active play and physical development for young children with disabilities.

For more information, please visit the following webpage: https://www.lboro.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/research-degrees/phd-opportunities/inclusive-physical-development-in-the-early-years