Child Care OLE Regulation FAQ in North Carolina

The Natural Learning Initiative has worked together with several different regulating agencies and organizations in North Carolina to get answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about safety, risk, and regulations in child care outdoor environments.

Digging in the Dirt


Questions About Digging in the Dirt:

Is it okay to have a dirt pile in the playground?
What kind of dirt is appropriate?

Inclusion of Natural Elements in the Play Yard


 Questions About Including Natural Elements in the Play Yard:

Are large stones and rocks considered tripping hazards?

What are some important considerations related to using small stumps to create a stepping activity, such as a need for resilient surfacing or concerns about splintering?

Can we have stumps with lichen or mushrooms growing on them?

Learning about Birds, Bugs, and other Critters


Questions About Birds, Bugs, and other Critters

What types of bird feeders are acceptable?
How should we maintain the water in a bird bath?
Is it okay to dig for bugs or use a "carpet lift-up" to observe them?

What about keeping tadpoles in a classroom to watch them develop?


Seating & Spaces Outdoors to Observe and Just Be


Question About Seating and Spaces Outdoors to Observe and Just Be:

What types of bench swings and/or gliders are suitable for use in the play environment?


Having a Picnic


Question About Having a Picnic:

How can we have a picnic outdoors and still meet licensing requirements for meals?

Growing Tomatoes in Preschool Gardens


Questions About Growing Tomatoes in Preschool Gardens:

Are tomatoes allowed?