OLYMPIA — Sen. Kevin Ranker’s bill to allow for outdoor preschools was signed by Gov. Jay Inslee today with supporters, teachers and children in attendance.

“I am very excited to create this opportunity to license full-time outdoor preschools, allowing children to learn and explore in the environment around them,” Ranker said. “This program will help children get outside at an early age, letting them learn and thrive outdoors while preparing for their future.”

Based on a Scandinavian model, outdoor preschool 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 and expand access to families that might not be able to afford outdoor preschool.

“Outdoor preschools are also a great way for families struggling to afford childcare to get their children into the outdoors with exceptional science and early education. This program sets children on a path to enjoy science, exploration learning and become stewards of the environment,” said Ranker.