1-2-3-MOVE! Co-created initiatives focused on MOTOR COMPETENCE to kickstart 1- to 3-year-old Flemish toddlers' developmental trajectories

01 October 2023 → 30 September 2027
Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Research disciplines
  • Medical and health sciences
    • Neurosciences not elsewhere classified
    • Pediatrics
    • Preventive medicine
    • Epidemiology
    • Motor control
motor development cocreation
Project description

Modern era children struggle to obtain age-appropriate levels of motor
competence (MC). MC is the capacity to intentionally perform
coordinated motor actions in the context of daily life, play and sports
participation. The positive associations between MC, physical activity,
health and other domains of development (cognitive, psychological,
socio-emotional and communicative) are extensively documented from
the age of 4 years on. Literature in the later age group is unanimous in
the call to act earlier in life to avoid severe developmental delays in all
domains. Moreover, caregivers working with 1- to 3-year-olds sounded
the alarm as it seems more difficult to reach age-related milestones,
possibly jeopardizing a holistic development. Given that there is virtually
no literature on (a) the status and development of MC in this younger
age group, and (b) targeted strategies to improve MC, this project aims
to tackle the negative secular decline in MC and its consequences by
setting up high-quality research and valorization trajectory.
The impetus for this application comes from the childcare professionals,
leading to this plan to improve toddlers’ MC in a sustainable way from a
multidisciplinary approach by uniting academic and practitioners’
insights. Together with organizations and professionals focusing on early
childhood development our consortium aims to a) document the
current status, development, correlates and determinants of MC in 1-
to-3-year olds, b) develop a multitude of initiatives to stimulate MC by
means of a co-creative approach with all stakeholders, and c)
implement/evaluate the effects of these initiatives on MC and other
domains of development. Each of these objectives includes a series of
deliverables (intervention programs, educational packages for
caregivers,...), which will be valued both during and after the project
because they will be developed in a cost-effective and sustainable way
and embedded in existing activities of the stakeholders.