Climate Resilience in Early Childhood Education

Key Components of Early-Childhood Climate Education

for Consultation on Program Development

Builds Resilience

  • Promotes ambodied, sensory and rhythmic self-regulation through engagement with the living world
  • Promotes safety and belonging through shared joy – child directed play in the context of co-regulatory relationships with teachers
  • Promotes sensory and emotional literacy (integrated with Social Emotional curriculum)
  • Provides opportunities for mindful connection to the more-than-human

Fosters Stewardship and Reciprocity

  • Harnesses young children’s vivid imaginations to promote empathy for all living beings
  • Provides simple and achievable stewardship activities, such as tending plants and worm bin composting
  • Uses story and song to demonstrate care and stewardship
  • Teachers model pro-environmental behaviors, demonstrating actions that tend to the health of the planet and children’s wellbeing

Developmentally Appropriate

  • Focuses on social and emotional tasks, developing relationships with the more-than-human world.
  • Recognizes that early childhood is the primary time to develop a sense of belonging and empathy, and learn about reciprocity
  • Keeps cognitive information developmentally appropriate – concrete, with local examples & achievable actions
  • Focuses on demonstrations of how we can help and heal the more-than-human. Uses positive descriptive language to teach pro-environmental behaviors. Ex: “We turn off the water so the plants and animals can have what they need too.”
  • Avoids existential concepts that are frightening and too abstract for young children to understand

Centers Equity and Shared Wellbeing

  • Engages children in cooperative activities that reinforce interdependence and mutual wellbeing
  • Promotes equitable access to green space for all children and families
  • Promotes family engagement and parent participation
  • Promotes community disaster preparedness
  • Allows for teacher reflection, support and self-regulation
  • Centers nature “champions” – teachers who share wisdom and experience representative of the cultures within the classroom