Nap in preschool-age children - reality of Child Care Centers in the central region of Portugal
Keywords:Child care centers, nap, preschool children, sleep
Background and aim: Until scholar age, nap contributes to children sleep. Population studies show that 92% of three years old children, 57% of four years old and 27% of five years old napped. This study aims to characterize nap habits of children between aged three to five years in child care centers of the central region of Portugal.
Material and Methods: Questionnaires were applied to teachers of children aged three to five years in Child Care Centers in Coimbra (private institutions of social solidarity - IPSS and private schools - IP).
Results: Sixty-five questionnaires were obtained from 31 child care centers (24 IPSS, 7 IP), corresponding to 1361 children. Of these 69% napped. In child care centers with rooms by age, 100% of children with three years old, 74% with four years old and 29% with five years old slept nap. In those with mixed rooms, 61% of children napped. Reasons for stop sleeping: at five years old all referred preparation for elementary school; in the others 48% request of parents and 29% teacher’s decision. The median duration of nap was two hours; 59% slept in a common room; 46.7% were sleeping in the dark.
Conclusions: In public child care centers, children stopped napping at three years old. In IPSS and IP, two thirds of children of three and five years old napped. Due to importance of nap, child care centers should adopt strategies that allow children to sleep and respect individuality of children.
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