Child, Youth, and Family Studies, Department of


Date of this Version



Published in Early Childhood Education Journal 2021



Copyright © 2021 Danae Dinkel, John P. Rech, Yage Guo, Matthew Bice, Emily Hulse, Donnia Behrends, Christina Burger, and Dipti Dev, under exclusive licence to Springer Nature. Used by permission.


Go Nutrition and Physical activity Self Assessment in Child Care (NAP SACC) is an evidence based intervention developed to positively impact childhood obesity in early childhood education (ECE) facilities. One focus of Go NAP SACC is the development of physical activity best practices. However, little research has examined differences in achievement of best practices based on age of child and geographic location. The purpose of this study was to examine differences in the achievement of physical activity best practices between urban and rural childcare facilities by age-specific recommendations (infants, toddlers, and preschoolers) and in the overall physical activity environment. Urban (n = 207) and rural (n = 218) ECE facilities completed the Go NAP SACC process. Data were analyzed using an ANCOVA. A majority of facilities reported exceeding best practices (79.5%), however significant differences were found on 18 best practices with urban facilities outscoring their rural counterparts on 17 of these items. A comparison by age found that urban facilities reported higher achievement of best practices among infants (60%) in comparison to toddlers (40%) or preschoolers (30%). Future studies should continue to explore the rural–urban context of physical activity practices across the early childhood age groups to ensure healthy physical development of children.