there are many terms used in the world of nature-based early childhood education. keep in mind that integration of nature into early childhood education is on a continuum from no nature integration to the other end of the continuum where nature is infused in all parts of the program. our mission at samara early learning is to help move early childhood programs away from the “no nature” end of the continuum and closer to full nature immersion.
) our goal at samara early learning is for that number to grow into the hundreds and eventually thousands or programs that are implementing high-quality nature-based administrative and teaching practices! like nature-based preschools, nature is infused into all aspects of the program, and the pedagogy emphasizes learning through play and hands-on discovery that emerges from the children’s interests. in other words, nature is infused into all aspects of the classroom and serves as a tool to achieve learning outcomes. in this video dr. rachel a. larimore, founder of samara early learning, describes the broad concept of nature-based early childhood education and nature-based preschools specifically.
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. there’s currently only capacity to serve 1 in every 3 young children who need child care throughout the state, and with physical space for child care centers limited, outdoor preschool provides an alternative that could help close that gap. providing a path to licensure for outdoor preschools would allow existing outdoor preschools to operate for full days and serve more children. though both the state and federal governments offer childcare subsidies and waivers to help offset the costs of childcare, less than 1 in 5 oregon children who qualify are actually enrolled in programs that accept these subsidies.
when combined with the shortage of available preschool options throughout the state, many oregon families aren’t able to find an affordable solution to childcare, and our kids are the ones being left behind. that means these schools can operate at a fraction of the cost of traditional indoor preschools and pass those savings onto families. while several outdoor preschools already operate around the state, they aren’t able to meet licensure requirements that were specifically designed with indoor spaces in mind. no licensure option means these preschools can only operate for half days, and they are unable to accept state or federal child care waivers. this translates to outdoor preschools in oregon being unavailable for families who rely on waivers to pay for childcare, or who need to work full days and are unable to afford only half-day care.
the first resource in the united states to provide guidance on the unique professional practices of nature-based early childhood education is now available! a nature-based early childhood curriculum has dual goals of promoting whole-child development and environmental literacy, with nature as the organizing nature-based early childhood education (nbece) is a unique approach to education which combines both early childhood and environmental education., .
only 3 percent of outdoor preschoolers are black or african american and only 7 percent are hispanic or latino, according to natural start outdoor preschool is a preschool that meets either entirely or primarily outside. also called “forest kindergartens,” this model has been around for decades outdoor preschool is a preschool that meets either entirely or primarily outside. outdoor preschools offer children the unique health benefits of time in, .
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