Outdoor Preschool

Creating Access to
Outdoor Preschool

There is a lot of evidence that outdoor and nature-based preschools could be an important step in rebuilding our child care systems for better outcomes.

They help children lower their stress levels and encourage them to be more physically active. Learning outdoors can help children concentrate and stay motivated. All families should have the option to send their children to an outdoor preschool and give them access to the mental health, physical health, and developmental benefits that they provide.

How We’re Working Towards Access

We envision a future where every family has the choice to send their kids to an accessible outdoor or nature-based preschool. To achieve our vision, we’re building an outdoor preschool coalition, creating tools, and advocating for policy change.

We partner with advocates across the country to develop useful tools to advance outdoor preschool and advocate for systems-level change that center equity.

Tygh Valley Head Start Outdoor

Outdoor classrooms support gross and fine motor development and encourage lots of physical activity. The child in the front right is inventing a game requiring hoops, balls, jumping, and lots of coordination. In the back far left, another child is running and kicking a ball. Both have big smiles on their faces.


Outdoor Preschools of Oregon

Check out our map of outdoor and nature-based preschools in Oregon, or click here to download a PDF list.


Outdoor Preschool Policy Action Frameworkoutdoor preschool policy action framework

Advocates of nature-based learning! Check out the newly released Outdoor Preschool Policy Action Framework. We’ve identified eight potential options to increase access to outdoor preschools. Whether it’s through local initiatives, partnerships, or licensing changes, find your unique pathway to make nature-based & outdoor preschools available to all children.


Outdoor Preschool Equity ToolkitOutdoor 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.

Have questions about Outdoor Preschool?


Lynny Brown | Partner, Health & Outdoors
email | lynny@willamettepartnership.org