We’re excited to announce the launch of our Outdoor Preschool Equity Toolkit. This resource was designed for current preschool providers to highlight best practices that schools are doing around the state to help families overcome financial, logistical, and cultural barriers to accessing nature-based and outdoor preschools. This Toolkit was created after conducting interviews with current nature-based and outdoor preschool providers across Oregon, all of whom are already taking steps to improve equity in their schools and community.
Through the Oregon Health & Outdoors Initiative, we’re working to help expand access to outdoor preschools by advocating for pathways to licensure for these programs. We’re working on a national Outdoor Preschool Policy Action Framework to help advocates in all 50 states learn about which policies inhibit and expand access to outdoor preschools.
“Outdoor preschool” is a preschool that meets either entirely or primarily outside. Also called “forest kindergartens,” this model has been around for decades and offers children the unique health benefits of time in nature along with the skills your kid needs to succeed in school.