Early Childhood Outdoor Play Inspector Program

Course Description

The Early Childhood Outdoor Play Inspector program will give participants knowledge and understanding to inspect the outdoor play area for safety.  Upon completing all program requirements participating individuals will earn the designation of Certified Early Childhood Outdoor Play Inspector through the National Program for Playground Safety.  This will enable them to inspect the outdoor play areas located in child care centers.  Through this course participants will learn how to inspect:

  • The physical layout of the outdoor play environment
  • The play area for good sight supervision
  • The play area for age appropriate design
  • The fall surface materials of a play area
  • Common play components typically found in child care center play environments

The criteria learned in this online course are based on national standards and guidelines as outlined by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), National Health and Safety Performance Standards (NHSPS), the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), and the National Program for Playground Safety (NPPS).

Target Audience

The Early Childhood Outdoor Play Inspector course was designed for a wide range of individuals that interact with the early childhood field.  These include early childhood professionals working in a child care center, human service regulatory professionals, professionals from child care resource and referral agencies, independent consultants, playground maintenance workers, allied professionals from the health, safety, and legal disciplines, military personnel, CDC staff, NARA members, insurance agents, and any individuals that want to be a Certified Early Childhood Outdoor Play Inspector!

Course Requirements

The course consists of 12 clock hours of training.  This self-paced training includes various examinations over material covered and completion of a survey.  Participants will have four weeks to complete the course on their own time.  Upon completing the online material, participants are required to perform a playground inspection at a site of their choosing and submit a written report for review.  Individuals who complete all online material and submit a written report that passes review will be mailed a certificate approximately four weeks after the exam and assignment are reviewed.  Participants will receive 1.2 CEUs.


Upon completing all course requirements participants will earn the designation of Certified Early Childhood Outdoor Play Inspector through the National Program for Playground Safety, enabling them to inspect outdoor play areas in child care centers.  This certification is good for three years.  Individuals wishing to continue their certification after the three year expiration date are required to submit a current inspection report and documentation of activities completed as an Outdoor Play Inspector over the certification period.  They will work with NPPS staff to familiarize themselves on any updated information in the field.  Please visit our recertification page for more information on this process. 

Certified Play Inspectors may choose to have their contact information included on the NPPS National Online Registry of certified inspectors.  This registry allows programs in need of an outdoor play inspection to search for inspectors providing services in their area.   


The cost for completing the Early Childhood Outdoor Play Inspector program is $495. This fee includes course materials, 1.2 CEUs, certification, and listing on the National Registry.  This fee can be paid by credit card, purchase order, or check through our online registration system.

Click here to register for this course.

2014 Course Offerings Payment Due
July 14- August 8 June 23
August 4- August 29 July 14
September 8- October 3 August 18
October 6- October 31 September 15
October 20- November 14 September 29
2015 Course Offerings Payment Due
January 26- February 20 January 5
February 2- February 27 January 12
March 2- March 27 February 9
March 30- April 24 March 9

A$25 late fee will be assessed for all payments received after the payment due date.

Additional class sessions may be added for large groups (10+) interested in completing the training program should the scheduled dates not meet the need.  Please contact NPPS for more information.