An Intervention to Increase Outdoor Play in Early Childhood Education Centers (PROmoting Early Childhood Outside): Protocol for a Pilot Wait-list Control Cluster Randomized Trial
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionJMIR Research Protocols. 2022, 11 (7), 1-17. 10.2196/38365
Background: Participation in outdoor play has been extensively documented as beneficial for the health, well-being, and development of children. Canadian early childhood education centers (ECECs) are important settings in young children’s lives and provide opportunities to participate in outdoor play. However, there are barriers to the provision of outdoor play opportunities at ECECs, such as adverse weather conditions, poorly designed outdoor spaces, outdoor time policies, and early childhood educator comfort levels. Objective: The PROmoting Early Childhood Outside (PRO-ECO) study is a wait-list control cluster randomized trial that evaluates the impact of the PRO-ECO intervention, an innovative outdoor play intervention, on children’s outdoor play behavior. The purpose of this paper was to provide a detailed overview of the pilot study protocol and the methods that will be used to develop, implement, and evaluate the PRO-ECO intervention.