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Physical Activity Guidelines

As a commitment to children’s health the following Physical Activity Guidelines have been developed by the Maryland State Department of Education:


  • Preschoolers (ages 3-5) are provided with at least 60 minutes of structured and at least 60 minutes of unstructured physical activity per day.
  • Toddlers (ages 1-2) are provided with at least 30 minutes of structured and at least 60 minutes of unstructured physical activity per day.
  • At least one provider joins children in active playat least one time per day.
  • Children are provided outdoor active playtime at least two times per day.
  • Child care providers do not withhold active playtime as punishment.
  • Toddlers and preschoolers are not sedentary for more than 60 minutes except when sleeping or eating.
  • Television, video, and computer time are limited to one time per week or less and not more than 30 minutes each time for children over two years of age.
  • Toddlers under the age of 24 months shall not watch television, video, or other visual recordings, or view computers.
  • Children are provided with indoor and outdoor areas for performing large muscle activities.
  • Physical activity education is offered to children at least one time per week.
  • Physical activity education is offered to child care providers at least one time per year.
  • Children with special needs are provided opportunities for active play while other children are physically active.

The model guidelines are based, in part, on recommendations developed by the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) Guidelines for physical Activity in Infants, Toddlers and Preschoolers.  The regulations are also based on draft standards put forth by the Nutrition Technical Panel convened by The National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care and Early Education (NRC), in partnership with the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American Public Health Association (APHA) for the third edition of Caring for Our Children: National Health and Safety Performance Standards; Guidelines for Out-of Home Child Care Programs (CFOC).

This information was obtained from the MSDE website.

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