Equitable Enrollment: Strategies to Boost Equity and Diversity


Equitable Enrollment: Strategies to Boost Equity and Diversity

group of young kids

In 2022, Natural Start conducted a National Survey of Nature Preschools in the United States. The data reflected exciting, sustained growth in the number of nature preschools and, therefore, the number of children enrolled in these programs. It did not, unfortunately, reflect a significant change in the racial demographics of children attending nature preschools since the last time we surveyed the field in 2017. Black and Latino children are under-represented in programs, and children who are White are over-represented, with very little change from 2017 to 2022. As nature-based education continues to grow, we’re focusing on how programs are, or are not, meeting the expectations and needs of BIPOC families.

Natural Start reached out to members to learn how nature preschools are prioritizing equity and diversity through their enrollment process. We heard back from programs employing a variety of strategies for attracting and enrolling racially and economically diverse families, including administrative policies, marketing and outreach, community partnerships, accessing state pre-K funding, and more.

Hear from representatives of Boston Outdoor Preschool Network (Boston), Fiddleheads Forest School (Seattle), Frazer Center Child Development Program (Atlanta), and Smith Urban Nature Preschool (Philadelphia).

We understand that equity work is persistent, and no single program has all of the answers. 

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This webinar was held on Tuesday, December 5, 2023.