— from Dave Pringle, Senate Democratic Communications —
A bill introduced by Sen. Kevin Ranker, D-Orcas Island, passed the state Senate [Tuesday] with bipartisan support.
“This bill will help children get outside at an early age, letting them learn and thrive outdoors while preparing for their future,” Ranker said. “We’re giving existing programs the opportunity to become fully licensed, full-time programs, allowing children to learn and explore in the environment around them.”
Sponsored by senators from across the state, Senate Bill 5357 would offer a four-year pilot program for outdoor early learning programs. Based on a Scandinavian model, educators lead children through exploration and hands-on learning for hours a day, entirely outside. The pilot puts these in-demand programs in Washington on track to offer full-day programs.
“Early learning outdoor programs are a great way for families struggling to afford childcare to get their children into the outdoors with exceptional science and early education to improve their learning and become stewards of the environment,” said Ranker.