Canadian Centre for Outdoor Play Announcement
Outdoor Play Canada, the Healthy Active Living and Obesity Research Group at the CHEO Research Institute, Andrew Fleck Children’s Services and Algonquin College have recently been awarded $2M for a 5-year project to launch the Canadian Centre for Outdoor Play, a centre of excellence where practice, policy and research will come together to inspire commitment to advancing outdoor play!
Outdoor play and learning in the early years are gaining traction as essential for physical, mental and environmental health and development. However, given the often-siloed nature of early childhood education supports, and differences in legislation between provinces, efforts to bring learning and play outdoors are often complicated and duplicated, with little sharing of best practices and little communication across sectors to produce sustained and scalable change.
Accordingly, we are establishing the Canadian Centre for Outdoor Play to mainstream outdoor play and learning for the early years.
We will launch demonstration projects, inform policy and practice, provide professional development opportunities, conduct applied research and lead nationwide knowledge translation and mobilization efforts related to outdoor play. The Centre will be housed within a new, multi-purpose iconic building currently being built on National Capital Commission lands, that form part of Wesley Clover Park, in Ottawa. Within this collaborative space our team will operate a licensed forest and nature-based program for 73 children: infants, toddlers and preschoolers, to foster learning, creativity, connection to the land and environmental stewardship among our youngest citizens. We hope to learn from these children, their families and Educators and share our learnings with all including researchers, policy makers and stakeholders nationwide.
To learn more about this very exciting project, email Outdoor Play Canada: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Canadian Centre for Outdoor Play has been funded in memory of John and Susanne Graham.