Early Childhood Outside

Early Childhood Outside (ECO) Risk Reframing Tool for Early Childhood Educators


Outdoor play, and the inherent risk-taking that comes with it, is crucial for children’s healthy development. Yet, early childhood educators are struggling to provide high quality and stimulating outdoor play time. Reasons include limited understanding of its importance, excessive safety fears, and liability concerns. To help early childhood educators and administrators, we are developing a risk reframing tool that provides information about the importance of outdoor play, reframe perceptions of risk, manage safety and liability fears, and guide development of a plan for changing service delivery. The tool will incorporate the latest evidence and behaviour change techniques similar to OutsidePlay.ca, which was developed for parents of young children from the Go Play Outside! study. 

Study Status

Data Collection: Completed

Participant Recruitment: Completed

We conducted 5 focus group interviews with 40 early childhood educators and licensing officers to learn key issues, needs and challenges that require intervention. We have been working closely with the Digital Lab at the BC Children’s Hospital and the UBC Department of Pediatrics to develop the online tool. The tool design mock-up was reviewed by 12 early childhood educators and licensing officers in Spring 2020, and is currently under development.  The final tool is anticipated to be launched in Summer 2020. 


Munday, F., Zeni, M., Han, C., Cheng, T., & Brussoni, M (2019). A digital risk-reframing tool to shift early childhood educators’ perceptions of outdoor play: Intervention mapping approach. A poster presented at the Big Difference BC conference. (PDF).

Cheng, T., Munday, F., Zeni, M., Han, C., & Brussoni, M (2019). Challenges early childhood educators face in promoting outdoor play – A qualitative study. A poster presented at the UBC Life Science Research Night. (PDF)