Healthy Starts for Infants and Toddlers was an innovative project supported by NC DHHS: Division of Child Development and Early Education, delivered through Shape NC, a long-term program hosted by the NC Partnership for Children (Smart Start). Its focus was to improve outdoor spaces for infants and toddlers, birth to 35 months. NLI offered expertise in evidence-based outdoor learning environments design and management to 19 childcare centers in Wake, Orange, and Guilford counties, North Carolina, who implemented amazing environments on the ground during challenging circumstances.
Strong connections were established with the National Community College early childhood associate degree teacher educators organization (ACCESS) via attendance to regional meetings, inclusion of resources in the ACCESS Newsletters (annotated bibliography), and a presentation to the national SKiP technical meeting (August 25, 2021).
NLI is offering online professional development courses on the Preschool Outdoor Environment Measurement Scale (POEMS) and Childcare Outdoor Learning Environments Quality Tool (COLEQT). The courses show how these tools can be used to guide quality improvements of outdoor children’s environments & promote child development and learning.