Funding of $428,303 is being provided over two years to Active For Life (AFL) to provide the tools and resources for early childhood educators to promote active play and advance the physical literacy of children.

Karina Gould, federal minister of Families, Children and Social Development, was in Cochrane at Future Stars Daycare, Apr. 22, to announce the funding and to speak on the Early Learning and Child Care Innovation Program.

Active For Life, a division of B2ten/B2dix, has laid the groundwork for promoting physical literacy and active play for the past 10 years and with this funding can take the next step.

AFL lead Richard Monette says Future Stars was one of several providers who piloted the program. He says the funding will be used to build a website aimed at promoting and delivering free resources.

"What we've realized is we can reach a lot of people through our website, but then the next challenge is to get people engaged in real life."

"It will be tailored to the needs of early childhood educators like the ones in Future Stars and every child care centre in Cochrane as well as across Canada. I also find a lot of child care centres outside of Canada end up using our material because everything is online and everything is free, so everyone will benefit."

While Monette resides in Cochrane, AFL's team is spread across the nation.

"We're all working together to engage parents and educators to get kids active every day."

He says many child care providers are aware of the resources available, but they'll continue to promote its availability.

"That's the key. We live in a world where everyone is inundated with information all the time  So we need to ensure that we reach as many daycares as we can, and then provide them with the best quality that we can. With that quality, they'll come back to the website and use more of our resources."

Minister Gould says supporting organizations like AFL helps meet the needs of children and sets them up for long-term success. She said will result in positive social, emotional, and physical benefits for children as well as early childhood educators.

"So I'm really excited about the work that Active for Life is going to be doing to enable kids to be healthy and active for the rest of their lives."

The Early Learning and Child Care Innovation Program supports the exploration, testing, and development of innovative approaches to provide families access to high-quality, affordable, flexible, and inclusive early learning and child care programs and services across the country.

AFL prides itself on establishing the term physical literacy, evolving it from an obscure concept to a mainstream topic.

You can find more information on AFL here

Richard MonetteAFL lead Richard Monette explains how the funding will be utilized.