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Table 3 Reported Practices Regarding Outdoor Learning Environments in Participating Texas Child Care Centersa

From: Physical activity, screen time, and outdoor learning environment practices and policy implementation: a cross sectional study of Texas child care centers

  % (n)
Outdoor active free play is provided to all toddlers & preschoolersc
  < 1x per wk. 0.21 (1)
 4x per wk 5.47 (26)
 1x per day 15.79 (75)
  ≥ 2x per day 78.53 (373)
Outdoor learning environment & activities are linked to enforce learningd
 Never 1.27 (6)
 Rarely 6.77 (32)
 Sometimes 50.32 (238)
Often 41.65 (197)
Best Practice Indicators for a Model Outdoor Learning Environmentbe
 Total indictors reported (M, SD) 5.74 (2.55)
  Indicator Reported
  Yes
  % (n)
 PA is supported by OLE (running, jumping on/off, crawling through, rolling, swinging, throwing, balancing, climbing) 87.27 (418)
 Open, grassy area for games & events 74.11 (355)
 Wheeled toys, portable play equipment, & play materials available 73.70 (353)
 Natural, loose materials (leaves, sticks, gravel, seeds) available for play 69.52 (333)
 Sufficient man-made shade structures 66.81 (320)
 Trees provide cover for about 1/3rd of outdoor area 51.15 (245)
 Looping, curvy primary pathways for circulation and wheeled toys 41.34 (198)
  ≥ 10 outdoor play & learning settings for activities 38.00 (182)
 Outdoor classroom/program base/storage available for tools, equipment & materials for outdoor learning 37.79 (181)
 Designated vegetable garden 17.54 (84)
 Shrubs (3 for every 100 sq. ft), including ≥1/4 fruiting shrubs & vines 8.98 (43)
  ≥ 1/4 of trees are edible fruit or nut species 7.52 (36)
  1. NOTE: Boldface indicates best practice recommendation
  2. a Expected N = 481. Actual n = 479, due to missing data
  3. b Outdoor learning environment best practice indicator questions were check all that apply option. Answers were dichotomized (Reported/Not reported)
  4. c Early Childhood PA Survey Question based on TX CORD
  5. d Early Childhood PA Survey Question newly created based on Texas Rising Star standard
  6. e Early Childhood PA Survey Question newly created based on National Learning Initiative
  7. Abbreviations: x, time; wk., week; M, mean; SD, standard deviation; PA, physical activity; OLE, outdoor learning environment; sq., square; ft., feet