The Lawson Foundation announced the launch of the second phase of its Outdoor Play Strategy and an investment of $4.95 million in 8 projects that will benefit Early Learning and Child Care across Canada.
The $650,000 investment heralds the launch of Promoting Early Childhood Outside (PRO-ECO): An Outdoor Play Intervention for Children Aged 3 to 5 Years in Early Learning and Child Care Programs led by Dr. Mariana Brussoni, associate professor in UBC’s department of pediatrics and investigator with the BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute. PRO-ECO, which has been co-developed with the YMCA of Greater Vancouver with support from scientific advisors and public health professionals, has four core components:
- Development of policies and procedures
- Early childhood educator training and mentorship
- Outdoor space modifications
- Parent/caregiver engagement
With support from the Lawson Foundation, whose aims are universal, high-quality and publicly funded early learning and childcare, Dr. Brussoni hopes to see significant change.
“I’m grateful for the Lawson Foundation’s generosity,” she said. “We can begin to address the lack of training in outdoor learning, enhancing government policy to benefit licensed child care facilities and ultimately help children and their families experience a richer, more rewarding outdoor play experience.”