Posted: June 6th, 2022

Proposal Letter for outdoor environment

letter
ATTACHED FILE(S)
Outdoor play areas, designed with equipment that is age and developmentally appropriate and that is located in
clearly defined spaces with semiprivate areas where children can play alone or with a friend, accommodate…
a motor experiences such as running, climbing, balancing, riding, jumping, crawling, scooting or swinging.
b activities such as dramatic play, block building, manipulative play, or art activities.
c
exploration of the natural environment, including a variety of natural and manufactured surfaces, and
areas with natural materials such as nonpoisonous plants, shrubs and trees.
Rate ‘No’ if the entire outdoor play area is composed of artificial surfaces, or if there is grass but no trees, shrubs
or other plants.
d
The program makes adaptations so children with disabilities can fully participate in the outdoor
curriculum and activities.
Rate ‘N/A’ if no children with special needs are currently enrolled or if the group’s identified special needs do not
require outdoor space or equipment accommodation.
When assessing multiple outdoor play areas, rate ‘Yes’ if the majority of the outdoor play areas meet the language of the
criterion. Rate all indicators ‘No’ if the group does not use any outdoor play area at least once a week (including public
spaces and private playgrounds) and if the group does not go on walks. If the group does only walks (no outdoor play
areas used or outdoor play area is used less than once a week), rate each indicator ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ on its merits.
9.B.02 I-T-P-K Always O
a
Program staff provide an outdoor play area that is protected by fences or by natural barriers to prevent
access to streets and to avoid other dangers, such as pits, water hazards, or wells.
Rate ‘No’ if the program does not use an outdoor play area at least once a week. Examples of outdoor play areas are
playgrounds (public or private), parks, parking lots, and open fields without equipment.
When assessing multiple outdoor play areas, rate ‘Yes’ if the majority of the outdoor play areas meet the language of the
criterion.
9.B.03 I-T-P-K Random O
a The outdoor play area is arranged so that staff can supervise children by sight and sound.
NAEYC Early Childhood Program Standards and Accreditation Criteria
& Guidance for Assessment, Page 77 of 99
© 2015. National Association for the Education of Young Children. This form may be reproduced for use by programs
seeking or maintaining NAEYC Accreditation. All rights reserved. Updated October 1, 2015.
9.B.03 I-T-P-K Random O
This criterion does not refer to how staff position themselves on the outdoor play area, but refers to how the physical area
and structure is arranged or designed. Rate this criterion on the physical layout and design of the outdoor play areas.
Staff and children need not be present.
When assessing multiple outdoor play areas, rate ‘Yes’ if the majority of the outdoor play areas meet the language of the
criterion.
Rate ‘N/A’ if the program does not use an outdoor play area at least once a week and/or if the program only goes on
walks.
9.B.04 I-T-P-K Always O, PP
a
The program provides at least 75 square feet of outside play space for each child playing outside at any
one time. The total amount of required play space is based on a maximum of one-third of the total center
enrollment being outside at one time.
Programs will be required to provide evidence that they meet square footage requirements.
Rate each outdoor play area ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ according to whether it appears on visual inspection to be large enough to
accommodate one of the groups it serves. The total square footage of all outdoor play areas is considered if separate play
areas are used for different age groups.
Total required square footage is based on 1/3 the amount of the total program enrollment being outside at one time unless
the program provides evidence that they schedule playground use in such a way that there is always 75 square feet per
child (for example a playground schedule). If a schedule is not used as evidence, to calculate the maximum number of
children, use the full-time equivalent or the maximum number of children who could be present at one time (so if program
has 4 morning classes and 4 afternoon classes that could each enroll 20 children, the total would be 80 not 160); the
required square footage in this example would be 80 divided by 3 multiplied by 75.
When assessing multiple outdoor play areas, rate ‘Yes’ if the majority of the outdoor play areas meet the language of the
criterion.
When assessing public outdoor play areas, or outdoor play areas that are not part of the program and are located off-site,
the program should be using the space at least once a week to be counted toward the 75 square feet of outside play space
the program provides.
9.B.05 I-T-P-K Random O
Rate the entire criterion (all indicators) as ‘N/A’ if the program facility does not have sandboxes
Sandboxes that are part of a program facility:
a are constructed to allow for drainage;
Rate as ‘Yes’ if no drainage problems are observed. Any system to promote drainage and guard against standing
water is appropriate. Examples would be the use of landscape fabric or drainage rock beneath the sand, or ground
graded downward around the sandbox.
b are covered when not in use; and
Rate as ‘NoOpp’ if sandbox is in use throughout the day.
Sand over a large ground surface is considered a sandbox if it appears to be used for sand play (for instance, sand
toys are evident). If used as a sandbox as well as resilient covering, and the entire surface is not covered, rate as
‘No’.
c are cleaned of foreign matter on a regular basis.
Rate as ‘Yes’ if sandboxes are mostly free of foreign matter and appears clean.
d Staff replace sand as often as necessary to keep the sand clean.
Rate as ‘Yes’ if sand appears clean. Rate as ‘No’ if there is no sand in the sandbox.
When assessing multiple outdoor play areas, rate ‘Yes’ if the majority of the outdoor play areas meet the language of the
criterion.
9.B.06 I-T-P-K Always O
Instructions: Always assess the outdoor play area that the group uses, whether or not the program owns the area. Rate all
indicators ‘No’ if there are no opportunities for outdoor play for this group, including walks (refer to Playground
Verification Form). Equipment used regularly at any time of the day or year must be assessed. When assessing public
outdoor play areas, or outdoor play areas that are not part of the program and are located off-site, the program should
use the space at least once a week for the space to be considered regularly used.
The outdoor play area protects children from…
a injury from falls (resilient surfacing should extend six feet beyond the limits of stationary equipment).
NAEYC Early Childhood Program Standards and Accreditation Criteria
& Guidance for Assessment, Page 78 of 99
© 2015. National Association for the Education of Young Children. This form may be reproduced for use by programs
seeking or maintaining NAEYC Accreditation. All rights reserved. Updated October 1, 2015.
9.B.06 I-T-P-K Always O
This indicator has been identified as a Statement of Best Practice and will no longer be directly assessed during a
site visit.
b [protects children from] catch points, sharp points, and protruding hardware.
Rate as ‘N/A’ if there is no stationary playground equipment.
a-b Indicators ‘a’ and ‘b’ are specific to stationary play equipment.
c
[protects children from] entrapment (openings should measure less than 3.5 inches or more than 9
inches).
“Generally, an opening presents an entrapment hazard if the distance between any interior opposing surfaces is
greater than 3.5 inches and less than 9 inches.” (source: “Handbook for Playground Safety”, Consumer Product
Safety Commission) Circular openings do not present this hazard. Measure examples of guard rails, ladder rungs,
and other spaces on equipment and structures in the outdoor environment (ie: fences or other areas of the outdoor
environment) where entrapment could occur. Record on the Notes page any openings that do NOT meet this
criterion.
d [protects children from] tripping hazards.
There should be no exposed concrete footings, abrupt changes in surface elevations, tree roots, tree stumps, or
rocks, which can trip children or adults.
e [protects children from] excessive wind and direct sunlight.
Rate ‘Yes’ if one example of protection from the elements is observed. Protection must match the most prevalent
adverse conditions in the local area.
c-e
Indicators ‘c’- ‘e’ are in reference to the entire outdoor play area. Refer to Playground Verification Form and rate
indicators ‘No’ if the group does not use any outdoor play area at least once a week (including public spaces and
private playgrounds) and if the group does not go on walks. If the group does only walks (no outdoor play areas
used or outdoor play area is used less than once a week), rate each indicator as ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ on its merits.
If children go out on the outdoor play area, even if there is snow, rate this criterion.
If catch points, entrapment areas, tripping hazards or other dangerous features are evident, describe the features and their
location on the Notes Page.
When assessing multiple outdoor play areas, rate ‘Yes’ if the majority of the outdoor play areas meet the language of the
criterion.
9.B.07 I-T-P-K Emerging PP
Rate entire criterion ‘N/A’ if the program does not have its own playground.
The findings of an assessment by a Certified Playground Safety Inspector are documented and available on-site.
The assessment documents
a
that play equipment is safe, protecting against death or permanently disabling injury for children from
two years through kindergarten.
The assessment in this criterion refers to an audit, which is an initial inspection of a public playground. The audit
sets the baseline for further inspections and is done to ensure that the playground equipment and surfacing is safe
and has been installed correctly. The National Parks and Recreation Association maintains a directory of Certified
Playground Safety Inspectors. For more information, see http://www.nrpa.org/npsi.
Assessments by individuals who are not Certified Playground Safety Inspectors through the National Parks and
Recreation do not meet this indicator. A public playground is defined by the National Parks and Recreation
Association as a playground that is anchored into the substrate or surface and is used by 6 or more unrelated
children. If the playground does not meet the National Parks and Recreation Association’s definition of a public
playground, then an audit is not applicable.
The audit or initial inspection is different than the regular inspections of playground equipment referenced in
indicators b, c, and d.
b that, through remedial action, the program has corrected any unsafe conditions, where applicable.
c
that an inspection and maintenance program has been established and is performed on a regular basis to
ensure ongoing safety.
d
that the outdoor play area accommodates abilities, needs, and interests of each age group the program
serves.
b-d
A regular inspection and maintenance program may be implemented by individuals certified in playground safety
by groups other than the NPRA, including the National Program for Playground Safety. Documentation of the
regular maintenance and inspection program should be maintained in the Program Portfolio.
When assessing multiple outdoor play areas, rate ‘Yes’ if the majority of the outdoor play
Step 2: Observe and Rate an Environment
Next, using Standard 9B of the NAEYC Observable Criteria Tool, observe and rate an outdoor environment. Because learning can happen anywhere, you may choose to observe either your program’s outdoor space or a public outdoor space (such as a park or playground). Observe the environment and children for a minimum of one hour to gain an accurate understanding of the space.
Remember to remain as objective as possible.
Step 3: Write an Action Plan
Based upon your findings from using NAEYC’s Self-Assessment tool, create an action plan that identifies one area of improvement that you feel would make the most significant positive impact on the outdoor space or an area you feel is a safety concern. The action plan should include the following:
Identified area of improvement (using the tool’s language)
Your desired outcome/goal
Potential challenges
Tasks
Measurement of progress
Timeframe to accomplish goal
List of materials needed
Brief justification of how your action plan will move your program toward quality improvement
You may choose to follow the example and format below or create your own template for your action plan:
Sample template
Step 4: Write a Proposal Letter
Using the information compiled in your action plan, write a proposal letter to implement change. If you have selected a public space to observe, write your proposal letter as if you were going to present it to town officials. If you have chosen an early childhood education setting to observe, write your proposal letter to either the center director, administrator, or the program owner.
For this assignment, you will submit your action plan and proposal letter NOT the checklist form you completed to gather information for this assignment.

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