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Canadian Public Health Association

Promising Practices in Canada

Throughout Canada, programs have been developed and implemented that support children’s access to unstructured play.  These programs address issues ranging from the design of play spaces, to developing local policies and programs supporting access to unstructured play. This section provides a series of examples that were self-identified as promising practices by the sponsoring organization.

Promising Practices

“A Promising Practice is defined as an intervention, program, service, or strategy that shows potential (or “promise”) for developing into a best practice. Promising practices are often in the earlier stages of implementation, and as such, do not show the high level of impact, adaptability, and quality of evidence as best practices. However, their potential is based on a strong theoretical underpinning to the intervention.”
Public Health Agency of Canada

In Canada, there are increasingly limited opportunities for children to engage in play that is self-directed, free, and natural. It is important to develop new and emergent interventions and programs that support unstructured child-led play so that the children can benefit from their physical, mental, and social development opportunities. The following programs have self-identified as promising practices.  


Policy - Community

Policy - School

Program - Community

Program - School

Last modified: January 25, 2019