Do babies and toddlers spend enough time outdoors?
13 June 2019
Research is needed into babies’ and toddlers’ engagement with outdoor spaces in childcare settings, suggest academics at Canterbury Christ Church University.
Funding has been awarded by The Froebel Trust to investigate and fill this gap.
The government recently published its 25 year Environmental Plan by Defra which highlights the importance of children’s connection with natural outdoor spaces.
Evidence by the Children’s Commissioner suggests that children have much less access to the outdoors then they used to. In particular, little is known about the outdoor experiences of the youngest children (0 to two years) when they are attending formal childcare settings.
The research project will address this by undertaking an audit of provision in Kent, alongside a selection of case studies to identify where effective practice is taking place.
“We hope to identify examples of really good practise to inspire practitioners who work with this age group.” - Nicola Kemp, School of Childhood and Eduction Studies
The first phase includes a systematic review of the research literature which focuses on babies, toddlers and outdoor provision. The second phase involves an online survey sent out to all settings with baby rooms in Kent.
Nicola Kemp and Jo Josephidou, both Senior Lecturers in the School of Childhood and Education, are leading on the project.
Nicola said: “We started this research because it was apparent that babies and toddlers were often forgotten in discussions about the importance of outdoor learning."
Findings which will be presented at the British Educational Research Association Conference (BERA) in September.