A Special Approach to Nature

The nature and forest daycare project aims to remove obstacles to the outdoors in early childhood centres to increase the frequency and number of outings in the natural environment. We work on health and safety, staff training, site layout, partnerships, family engagement and much more!

The benefits of the outdoors

For young children, playing in the great outdoors provides many benefits. It strengthens cohesion and mutual aid, develops self-esteem, promotes creativity and imagination. The forest contributes to the overall well-being of the child by offering an ideal ground for the development of motor skills.

The connection with nature is fundamental to the well-being of every individual and to our society in general. Our first early childhood centre in the forest, Boréal des tout-petits, does its part by providing daily outings to the nearby forest at Collège Boréal. Over time and with the support of families and the College, a base camp was set up with a few huts and a hygiene station.

The origin of the project

In 2019, the team got to work in order to find effective systems to facilitate outings year-round, document their benefits, and train staff on nature pedagogy in connection with the Ontario curriculum, How Does Learning Happen?

This year, we are proud to announce that the nature and forest daycare project is growing! Carrefour francophone is in the early stages of transfering this unique model to its other early childhood centres (E.C.C.).

Eventually, we hope to be able to develop this approach more widely, in all the centres of Carrefour francophone.

Thank you to our partners, Collège Boréal and Centre Louis-Riel, for allowing us to set up such projects for the well-being of children.

Carrefour francophone de Sudbury recognizes that we are on the territory designated in the Robinson-Huron treaty and that the lands on which we are gathered are part of the traditional territory of the Atikameksheng Anishnawbek nation.

This action-research project is funded by Employment and Social Development Canada under the Early Learning and Childcare Innovation Program.

Mathieu Lambert
CPE forêt project coordinator - Outdoor pedagogical leader
705 921 7668