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The CCOP (Canadian Centre for Outdoor Play)
is a centre of excellence where practice, policy and research
come together to inspire commitment to advancing outdoor play.

Our Vision

Outdoor play and learning are available, accessible, and habitually accessed by young children living in Canada.

Mission of the CCOP

The Canadian Centre for Outdoor Play is a collaboration between Outdoor Play Canada, the Healthy Active Living and Obesity Research Group at the CHEO Research Institute, Algonquin College, and Andrew Fleck Children’s Services through which we aim inspire commitment to advancing outdoor play and learning for the overall health and well-being of children in Canada. The Canadian Centre for Outdoor Play leads demonstration projects, informs policy and practice, provides professional development opportunities, conducts applied research, and leads nationwide knowledge translation and mobilization efforts to promote and support children, their care providers, their families, and the environments in which they play, learn and live.


Bayan Kaid

2024-2025 Canadian Centre for Outdoor Play Fellow



Lisa Lalonde

Algonquin College Project Lead, Canadian Centre for Outdoor Play



Maeghan James
Ph.D., Post-doctoral fellow

HALO Research Group & Canadian Centre for Outdoor Play


Outdoor Early Childhood Education Community of Practice

The Canadian Centre for Outdoor Play collaborative invites those interested in outdoor early childhood education to come join our community of practice!

Our community of practice is geared towards early childhood educators across Canada that are interested in and/or already in support of regularly bringing children outdoors. The overarching ethos is to promote collaboration, avoid duplication of efforts, empower practitioners to promote outdoor play opportunities across a variety of settings, and ensure outdoor ECE programming is culturally appropriate and place-based.Some specific goals include the development of quality indicators for best practices in licensed outdoor ECE programs and the development of an outdoor ECE needs assessments to inform the ongoing development and evolution of outdoor ECE resources and tools.

Sign up here:

Not quite ready to join, but still looking for ways to engage? Share what you feel is important for outdoor pedagogical practice here.

Canadian National Panel on Licensing Outdoor Early Childhood Education

This National Panel will advance efforts towards changing ECE licensing regulations across provinces in Canada. The ultimate goal is to achieve – in part through policy, system, and sector advocacy by the National Panel – a commitment by provincial governments to support equitable access to outdoor ECE for all children living in Canada by making these programs eligible for fee subsidy through local municipalities. These efforts will in turn lead to the normalization of outdoor play and learning at a societal level. The National Panel will serve to identify what is being done in the outdoor ECE sector and leverage those efforts in addressing ongoing and new licensing issues and constraints across provinces. There is already work being done in Newfoundland, New Brunswick, and British Columbia to advance this cause and there are many across other provinces interested in starting this journey. The National Panel aims to bring together these interested parties to celebrate successes, use progress and achievements to leverage change, and work through barriers in licensing together.

The National Panel is part of a 5-year initiative to launch the Canadian Centre for Outdoor Play that aims to bring together outdoor ECE practice, research, and policy to mainstream outdoor play and learning for the early years. Learn more about the Canadian Centre for Outdoor Play here.

The call for leaders to join this newly formed panel is now closed. However, we are always keen to find new ways to engage with passionate members of the outdoor play community!

Have an idea? Contact us!

National Panel
Danielle Alphonse
Qwul’stun’a’wat, Cowichan, Kahnienkehake, Welsh, Scottish ECE, BA CYC, MA Ed, Ph.D Candidate, Vanier Scholar, BC Regional Innovation Chair for Aboriginal Early Childhood Development, Early Childhood Education and Care Faculty, Vancouver Island University


Mariana Brussoni
Professor and Director, Human Early Learning Partnership, Faculty of Medicine | Pediatrics | School of Population & Public Health, The University of British Columbia | BC Children's Hospital Research Institute


Jane Cawley
Educational Consultant, Physical Literacy in the Early Years (PLEY) research project, Dalhousie University


Diane Daley
CEO, Family Day Care Services


Beverlie Dietze, PhD
Director of Learning and Teaching, Okanagan College


Joe Doiron
Independent Specialist, Physical Activity and Population Health, Joe Doiron Consulting


Mavis Lewis-Webber
ECE Consultant


Alyson McMullen
Program Manager, Natural Curiosity


Sylvie Melsbach
Soutien au partenariat et aux aires de jeu RCPEM, Directrice technique de l’IQSAJ


Lisa Menzies
Co-founder, Common Digs


Laura Molyneux
Co-founder, Cloudberry Forest School


Kelly Stone
Board Chair Great Kids (US), Board Director Families Canada


Questions, comments, suggestions regarding the CCOP initiative?

Support for the CCOP

The Canadian Centre for Outdoor Play has been funded in memory of

John and Susanne Graham

and by