Nature-based early childhood education has grown in leaps and bounds over the past decade in North America. Parents like the appeal of children skipping gaily through the forest, jumping in leaf piles, sloshing in puddles, and cuddling bunnies. They appreciate the greater emphasis on physical development and social emotional growth that appears to be occurring in nature-based early childhood programs. But they still ask, “Will my child be ready for kindergarten or first grade?” To tackle this question, we launched a series of research projects about 10 years ago to quantitatively measure some of the school readiness aspects of early childhood programs.
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