Conference FAQ


See below for frequently asked questions. If you have additional questions or concerns, contact us at [email protected].


Who is this conference for?

The Nature-Based Early Learning Conference brings professionals together to explore and promote nature-based learning for young children. Attendees include teachers, program administrators, higher education faculty, researchers, education consultants, landscape designers, and others who are committed to or interested in bringing nature, outdoor learning, and environmental education to young children’s education. The program focuses on nature-based education for preschoolers (ages 3-5), early elementary students (ages 5-8), and infants and toddlers (ages 0-3). Professionals, parents, and caregivers who are just learning about a nature-based approach to education, or may be interested in starting a nature-based early education program, are welcome. 

Where do I register?

Registration for the 2024 conference is open!  You can register to attend in person in Portland, OR, or you can register to attend online. Everyone who registers to attend in person will also receive complimentary registration for the online conference, with access to all on-demand content until July 2025.

Register Now

Interested in accessing 2023 conference content? The on-demand session library for the 2023 conference is available until July 1, 2024. You can register for access to the 2023 conference here.

What does my registration include?

Registration for the online conference includes:

  • Library of on-demand sessions and recordings of live sessions
  • Featured sessions and conference workshop
  • Year-long access to all sessions on demand
  • Professional development certificates for every session you attend

Registration for the in-person conference includes:

  • Full access to the online conference (see above)
  • Access to all featured and concurrent sessions
  • Opening reception and welcome on Wednesday, July 31
  • Lunch on Thursday and Friday, Aug 1-2
  • Optional, add-on activities on Wednesday (workshops and meetings) and Saturday (site tours)

Are group discounts available?

Yes! Programs registering 4 or more participants receive a 20% discount on each registration. If you would like to register multiple attendees from the same program, institution, or business for the online event, email [email protected] for assistance. 

Are scholarships available?

Yes! This year, scholarships are available for rural Oregon educators to attend the conference in Portland. Scholarships are awarded and administered through the Oregon Association for the Education of Young Children. More information is available here. This is the only scholarship available this year and is designed for Oregon educators.

Do you offer discounted pricing for students?

Unfortunately, we do not have financial aid or discounted prices for students for the conference (beyond the scholarships described above), as the conference registration fee is already subsidized through grants, sponsorships, and lots of volunteer time. We do our best every year to make the experience as affordable as possible. 

Can I earn graduate credits for participating in the conference?

Yes, graduate credits for participating in the conference (2 credits) are available through Hamline University and may be used toward a certificate in nature-based early learning or toward a Master's degree in environmental education. Contact Patty Born Selly at [email protected] to learn more.

Can I earn Oregon Registry Online credit for attending conference sessions?

Yes, Oregon Registry Online credit for attending conference sessions is available through the Oregon Center for Career Development in Child Care and Education. Those seeking credit should print the National Conference Verification Form and fill it out with each session attended, along with a signature from the respective session facilitator. An Oregon Registry representative will be present at the conference with a table to answer any questions, and will have copies of the form for those who need it.

Where can I see the list of sessions?

View a list of session titles, presenters, and descriptions for the online conference here. In-person sessions that have been accepted for the conference are listed here. You can get to know our featured speakers here!

Can I share my registration with my colleagues? 

Each attendee must register separately, and registrations cannot be shared. In addition, professional development certificates can only be generated associated with the name on your account. All participants should register, log in to the conference website, and view sessions exclusively on session pages.

Can I use on-demand sessions for training purposes? 

You are welcome to use on-demand content for training your own staff or program. Any other use of sessions requires permission from Natural Start/NAAEE. Sessions can not be downloaded, shared, sold, or used in any other way without permission from Natural Start/NAAEE and the presenter.

Can I get a professional development certificate for the sessions that I participate in?

Yes! After you’ve viewed a session, you can download a certificate that indicates the session title and clock-hours for the session. The certificate includes the name associated with your registration account, so be sure to use the name that you want printed on your certificate when you register. 

Are accessibility accommodations available?

On-demand sessions can be viewed with auto-generated captions through YouTube. Contact us at [email protected] if you have any questions or concerns regarding accessibility. 

How can I stay up to date about the conference and other Natural Start activities?

If you'd like to stay informed of Natural Start Alliance news, including the conference, we encourage you to become a member, which is free and easy to do! Read about the benefits of membership and join at the link below.

Become an Alliance Member