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Applications open for preschool outdoor area upgrades

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Preschoolers from across the state are being given the chance to learn and play in world class outdoor learning environments, with applications now open to Government preschools for funding to build or upgrade outdoor learning areas.

Applications are sought for the next round of funding through the Preschool Outdoor Learning Project, which will see a further ten new outdoor learning areas built, bringing the total to twenty sites by 2018.

DECD A/Director Early Childhood Services, Helen Doyle says that outdoor learning areas play an important part in improving a child’s physical, educational and mental wellbeing.

“Opportunities to play outside and immerse themselves in nature are vital to a child’s health and wellbeing and for developing their full potential,” Ms Doyle said.

“A space for children to run, play, and climb at an early age also assists in instilling healthy behaviours, which can be maintained over a lifetime.

“Research shows a well-designed outdoor space provides young children with an excellent connection to the natural world and supports their overall learning and development.

“Preschools selected to participate in the Preschool Outdoor Learning Project will be concept leaders and support other preschool educators to actively engage children, families and the local community in connecting with nature.

“Staff, children, their families and the local community will play an important part in the design and creation of the new areas at their preschool.”

As part of this last two rounds of funding, ten Government preschools will be selected, with five selected to participate in 2016-17 and a further five selected to participate in 2017-18.

All DECD operated metropolitan, country, stand-alone and school-based preschools are eligible.

Expressions of Interest close at 5pm, 31 July 2015.