WA State Outdoor Preschools Are About to Become a Thing
Did you know that there are new laws governing outdoor childcare?
If you've ever had a young child in daycare or childcare then you know how important it is to you that the child has opportunities for outdoor playtime. Those who have taken early childhood education classes in college and university know that outdoor play is essential to the growth of the whole child experience. As a young child's brain develops, their abilities to heighten their aural, visual, and physical senses is strengthened with being able to interact with the world around them, especially in the grass. They are able to interact with bugs, the wind, other playmates, flowers, sunshine, rain, and so on.
Washington state now has a proclamation from Governor Inslee to encourage child care centers to "operate outdoor nature-based early learning and child care programs."
There are several child care centers in the Yakima area that can potentially benefit from this pilot project. My daughter, Willow, attended Easter Seal's Jane's House when she was a baby, toddler, and preschooler. They always made time for the children to go outside a play when the weather was agreeable. I would imagine that during this heatwave the early childhood instructors kept the children indoors as much as possible, especially considering that it is not a strictly outdoor child care facility. With the new Washington state senate bill, SB5151, new facilities can open up that are solely focused on outside learning and care.
This could give rise to more sports-based child care centers here in the Yakima Valley. What a cool idea!