Article Link: https://www.childcareexchange.com/article/wonder-newsletter/5019103/Experiencing Nature: An Opportunity for Pedagogic Quality
by Bowine Wijffels, Cailin Partners and Marc Veekamp, Veldwerk Nederland
A natural do-and-discover garden at a child daycare centre, an after-school forest group, raincoats always at hand . . . more and more child care centres in the Netherlands are beginning to see the value of nature in child care. Experiencing nature appears to contribute positively to the development of the young child. The organisations Veldwerk Nederland, ROC Koning Willem 1 College, ROC Landstede, Buitenkans Participatieve Groenprojecten, and Cailin Partners carried out research about the present stage of developments in the Netherlands and abroad: what the possibilities are for child care centres in the Netherlands and what obstacles exist for a further development of nature experience in child care.
For the introduction of successfully experiencing nature programmes in the child care centres, four elements appear to be crucial:
• Competence of the pedagogic staff members;
• Inclusion of the principles of experiencing nature in the policies of the child care centre;
• Involvement and agreement of the parents; and
• Presence of a suitable outdoor facility, because experiencing nature can, of course, only be experienced outdoors.
Only if these four conditions can be realised do we have a reasonable chance that ...