1:1 and Low Ratio Programs

One of the ways we are broadening access for all children to experience connection and play on the land is through the 1:1 Forest and Nature School experience. We know to be on the land, to play, listen to the birds and watch the muskrat swim by connects us to the land, each other and ourselves. We know it supports the mental health of children and families.

Some families choose our 1:1 program because it facilitates a safe, educational and supportive outdoor play experience, while offering respite to family members. Some families choose this program because it supports the development of risk assessment skills. Some families choose this program because a day of outdoor play assures smoother days in the classroom. There are so many ways this program can be a fit for children with complex needs.

Each day in the 1:1 program follows your child’s curiosity and sense of wonder. Some children play with and alongside a group with the support of their educator. Some children benefit from an independent program designed to their strengths and learning. Children who need to move might enjoy building an obstacle course from the stumps, boards and tires. They might seek the challenge of the slackline tied between trees. Children who need quiet and still outdoor experiences might enjoy feeding the birds, building a squirrel restaurant, or painting the canvas. There are trails to be followed and a creek to explore. Our educators are skilled in co-creating boundaries and supporting children in developing the skills to assess their own safety and risk.

We have access to one wheelchair accessible trail. Most of the NCC trails that we wander are dirt trails. The main trails are rolling and flat and they will get muddy when its rains. Access to the site from the parking lot includes a narrow trail with roots and rocks which crosses a 4′ wide bridge and up a windy short hill. The field is grassy and flat. The wall tent has a 3′ door to an open space inside. We continue to take steps to make our site more accessible.

The hourly fee for 1:1 is $30/hr for one educator. Sessions are booked for 3-5 hours per week, for six weeks. Our programs are funded by certain mental health organizations. Please enquire; lets see what we can figure out. Your child’s educator will have a background in supporting specific needs, and qualifications that may include ECE, or OCT, or Child and Youth worker.

If you are wondering if outdoor play might be a supportive experience for your child but you know that the 8:1 ratio of our 16 child groups aren’t a fit, lets talk about this opportunity for your family.

If you have questions about this specialized program please email outtoplayottawa@gmail.com or apply for a space.

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