PROmoting Early Childhood Outside (PRO-ECO)

An outdoor play intervention for children aged 3 to 5 years in early childhood education centres


Early learning and childcare centres (ELCCs) can provide children with rich opportunities for outdoor play that they may not otherwise experience in their home or community. However, many ELCCs struggle to provide high quality and stimulating outdoor play time for various reasons.

The aim of this study is to develop, implement and evaluate a comprehensive intervention to increase time spent by children in quality outdoor play in ELCC. The PRO-ECO intervention integrates four core components:

  1. Modifying outdoor play spaces;
  2. Early childhood educator training and mentorship;
  3. Parent and caregiver engagement; and,
  4. Updating policies and procedures

This study works in close partnership with the YMCA of Greater Vancouver with support from scientific advisors and public health and licensing professionals. A Randomized Controlled Trial will evaluate the effectiveness of the intervention and how it can be modified to tackle barriers. Findings can enhance outdoor play practice and policy in ELCC settings. 

Learn More and Consent for the Study

Your child may be eligible to participate:

1. Is your child aged 3-5 years?

2. Is your child enrolled in one or more of the following childcare centres?

  • Beach YMCA
  • Djavad Mowafaghian YMCA
  • Marpole YMCA
  • Metrotown YMCA
  • Nanook YMCA
  • Seasong YMCA
  • Vista Point YMCA
  • Woodward YMCA

If you answered yes to these questions and would like to participate, please provide consent via our Parent Consent Form

Interested to learn more about research?

Check out ‘Jackie’s Adventure’ to learn more about the importance of research and what your contribution to research means.

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