News from the Rhode Island Child Care and Early Learning Facilities Fund

July eNews

Update on OPIPP –
Outdoor Play Interventions Pilot Project

We are excited to share an update on the Outdoor Play Interventions Pilot Project (OPIPP), our strategy to aid in the development of low-cost, high-value, simple design interventions for outdoor spaces utilizing architectural design, LISC technical assistance, fundraising, and volunteer coordination. Initial concept designs transforming the space have been completed, and we have narrowed down the interventions to build at each of our three sites: Westbay Children’s Center, Jamestown Early Learning Center, and Children’s Friend Hartford. Our resource guide showing each intervention and outlining instructions for how it can be built by any novice is in development.

Our biggest news is that this project is now supported in part by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island, who awarded the RICCELFF a Blue Across Rhode Island volunteer grant, which provides funding for each of the three sites and more than 100 volunteers for a day of service on September 15, 2017. Visit or search #BlueAcrossRI on social media to learn more about this amazing event that will take place at multiple locations across the state.

Want to learn more about this pilot project? You can follow our whole story by clicking the button below. 

    Playgrounds! Promote Safe and Fun Outdoor Play in Head Start and Child Care
    The National Center on Early Childhood Health and Wellness (NCECHW) hosted a webinar about playground safety on June 12th, 2017, that is still available online!

    Playgrounds provide a great chance to support children's physical and social development outdoors. However, they are also the most common location for injuries in early childhood education programs. Child care providers play an important role in helping Head Start and child care programs promote active play and minimize injuries.

    Following the webinar, participants will:

    • Understand the importance of promoting a safe outdoor learning environment for children's healthy growth and development
    • List the most common injury hazards on a playground
    • Identify four ways to work with programs to create safer playgrounds, including how to: 1) create a daily playground checklist, 2) inspect a playground to identify injury risks, 3) observe for active supervision, and 4) strategize with teachers to prevent injuries

      Included with this webinar are two resources and worksheets from the National Program for Playground Safety and the Early Childhood Education Linkage System - Healthy Child Care PA; PA Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics that will help you quickly examine your play space. You can download them here:
      Changes in Playground Standards –
      ASTM F1487  

      The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) has released a new F1487 – Standard for Consumer Safety Performance Specification for Playground Equipment for Public Use, updated from the previous 2011 version. This standard is part of what makes up the Playground Safety Handbook and is what Certified Playground Safety Inspectors (CPSI) use when they verify the safety of a play space. An example of topics that are subject to change include:

      • Statement on Assessing Risk
      • Embankment Slide Definition (for slides that follow the contour of the ground and reduce fall height)
      • Rotating Equipment Definition and subsequent requirements, sizes, and use zones (for items like sand diggers and steering wheels)
      • Suspended Components on Manipulative Play Component (for items like musical play panels)
      • Flexible Climbing Components (chains, cables, and ropes)
      • Falls from Adjacent Platforms
      • And more…  

      To read more about the changes, please visit the International Playground Safety Institute website. 

      While it is not expected you know everything about playground standards, we always recommend consulting with a CPSI to get a fully certified playground safety inspection if you are unsure about the safety of your place space. 

      Interested in learning more in-depth information about how to inspect and maintain a playground space in accordance with the Playground Safety Handbook? For the second time, LISC along with the Rhode Island Parks and Recreation Association will be hosting the National Recreation and Park’s Association Certified Playground Safety Inspector Training in May 2018. More details to come soon! 
      RICCELFF Outdoor Play Resources
      Be sure to check out the resources we have on our website related to outdoor play spaces, including our Creating Playgrounds Early Childhood Facilities Resource Guide.

      We also have our Fast Fact series with topics such as Outdoor Active Fun on a Budget, Playground Inspections, Selecting and Installing Safety Surfacing, Outdoor Playspace, Fencing and Barriers, and more. You can view our entire Fast Facts series by clicking the link below. 
      The Theory of Loose Parts Play
      All of this playground safety talk can be pretty overwhelming, and sometimes it can be nice to get back to basics a little bit.  One way to play flexibly outside without the use of equipment is to use “loose parts” – objects and materials that can move, be manipulated, be relocated, provide choice, and enhance development and creativity for all kinds of open-ended play. Click here for more suggestions on loose parts.  For a complete loose parts play toolkit resource, read more here.
       To see how one preschool implemented natural, loose parts play, click the link below.
      Follow Us on Twitter

      Did you know that your favorite Child Care and Early Learning Facilities Fund is on Twitter? Follow us here, and feel free to tweet at us @LISC_Childcare!

      Have you missed any of our previous eNEWS or want to reference something you saw in an article from the past? 

      Our entire eNEWS catalog is available on our website. 
      Be sure to check it out here!

      About RICCELFF

      The Rhode Island Child Care and Early Learning Facilities Fund (RICCELFF) is an innovative public-private partnership dedicated to expanding access to quality child care and early education opportunities throughout Rhode Island. The RICCELFF provides the capital and technical expertise that child care and early learning centers need to improve the quality and capacity of their physical space. The RICCELFF provides a combination of training, technical assistance, grant funding and flexible, affordable financing for a wide range of indoor and outdoor projects including minor renovations or construction of new, state-of-the art facilities and playground spaces. Click here to learn more about what the RICCELFF can offer your program.

      LISC Rhode Island Child Care & Early Learning Facilities Fund   |  146 Clifford Street
      Providence, RI 02903
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