The AIESEP early years special interest group, organized, prompted and edited a special edition of the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (IJERPH). The special issue focused specifically on “Physical education in early childhood”, which belonged to the section within the journal ‘Children’s Health’. Our aim of the special edition was in line with AIESEP goals, to raise awareness and share research on ways in which children grow and develop towards their full potential and health. Physical education and good physical activity intervention programs can be places to help support young children’s overall physical development and health as well as aiding social-emotional, cognitive learning. This special edition enabled researchers from the special interest group and wider to share globally ways in which physical education in early childhood is implemented to support young children.
Even, though the manuscript submission officially closed at the end of September 2021, there are already seven interesting open access articles published with three more within the reviewing processing stage. The topics of published articles focus on young children’s physical activity levels and perceptions about it; children’s motor development as well as possible motor coordination disorders. Nowadays, there is lot of discussion about the children’s play and this special issue adds new aspects to this discussion: how “risky play” could support children’s development, and how sand play is so much more than just a low-level physical activity. During the last years, scholars have been interested about the possible association between physical activity, fitness and cognitive performance, the special edition allowed space for the sharing of a longitudinal study from kindergarten to school shows interesting and multiple associations with Estonian children. Finally, the Finnish study confirms that teacher education can positively influence students’ perceptions and attitudes, encouraging pre-service teachers to implement physical education in early years. Therefore, it can be concluded that teacher education, one important goal of AIESEP, really matters. You can find our special edition and all the interesting articles here: IJERPH | Special Issue : Physical Education in Early Childhood (mdpi.com)