Early Childhood Outdoor Learning Environments Certificate

Early Childhood Outdoor Learning Environments is targeted towards early childhood professionals and others interested in improving early childhood outdoor play and learning environments. Learners will gain skills and knowledge required to plan, manage, promote, organize, and administer high quality outdoor play and learning environments. The course will also introduce the participatory design process used by the Natural Learning Initiative in childcare settings. Although the primary audience of this program is early childhood professionals, educators working in other settings may be interested as well as technical assistants, extension agents, landscape design professionals, cooperative extension agents, and volunteers working in childcare settings. The overall course objective is to help participants understand how landscape design can support active lifestyles, promote mental health and wellbeing, encourage healthy eating, and motivate learning in, about, and through nature. Participants in this course are NOT expected to have prior experience drafting plans.

This certificate program consists of 8 modules to be completed online, with optional online video conference sessions.

Approach to childhood learning was new and interesting.


Thoroughly enjoyed this course! … In the process of trying to apply these principles to my own little back yard. Thank you!


Course Dates

Spring Section:
February 14 – May 6, 2022

General Registration: $480
NC Residents: $100 (program value $480)

Group rate available for groups of 5 or more. For more information, contact Laura Lloyd, ljlloyd@ncsu.edu.