Physical activity and nutrition in nurseries

We know from research that the early years are a critical time for a child’s physical, social and emotional development. 

This is when healthy eating and physical activity habits are formed and experiences during these crucial early years can have a lasting impact on the rest of a child’s life. 

According to NHS data, one in five children is overweight or obese by the age of five, just 27% of children regularly play outside their homes (OnePoll 2022) and 26% of people have concerns about being able to afford enough fruit and vegetables to ensure their family eats well (British Nutrition Foundation, June 2023).

NDNA can support you to focus on physical activity and nutrition in your nursery in two different ways:

The practitioner-champion route: PANCo training

The practitioner-champion route: PANCo training

Our level 4, NCFE CACHE accredited PANCo training programme promotes positive nutrition and physical activity within early years settings, giving early years educators a robust knowledge base and the skills to lead and support change.
Find out more about PANCo
The setting-wide approach: Start Life Well

The setting-wide approach: Start Life Well

Start Life Well is an online framework that ensures your whole setting reinforces the value of physical activity, healthy eating and emotional well-being. This proven system enables nursery leaders to measure and improve practice.
Discover Start Life Well or renew

Start Life Well Gold

Is your setting gold-standard?


Any setting with a qualified PANCo that has completed the Start Life Well framework will be awarded Start Life Well Gold status.

Start Life Well Gold Award