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Outdoor Nature-Based Preschool Programs

Concerning including outdoor nature-based preschool programs as a type of child care center in the department of early childhood for licensing-related matters.
2024 Regular Session
Education & School Finance (Pre & K-12)
Human Services
Bill Summary

The bill includes outdoor nature-based preschool programs (outdoor programs) as a type of licensed child care center (center) in the department of early childhood (department) for licensing-related matters. No later than December 31, 2025, the executive director of the department shall promulgate rules for centers operating as outdoor programs. The rules must include, but are not limited to:

  • Land-use agreement requirements for outdoor programs operating on public or private land;
  • Policies for site-specific alternate shelter plans;
  • Policies for site-specific risk mitigation plans;
  • Policies for site-specific emergency and disaster preparedness plans;
  • Policies for site-specific evacuation plans; and
  • Policies and procedures for outdoor programs to opt out of certain department requirements through the site-specific risk mitigation plan.

The bill requires the department to provide training to licensing staff who oversee outdoor program site inspections and to outdoor program operators and staff.

The department shall collaborate with local fire departments on fire prevention and protection requirements for outdoor programs. The department shall collaborate with the department of public health and environment on sanitary standards for outdoor programs.

(Note: This summary applies to this bill as introduced.)


Under Consideration


Bill Text


Sponsor Type Legislators
Prime Sponsor

Sen. J. Marchman, Sen. K. Priola
Rep. J. Joseph, Rep. B. McLachlan



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