A Child’s Nature provides flexible, full-day child care and education for families of diverse backgrounds. Surrounded by goodness, truth and beauty, our children achieve their full potential through daily outdoor adventures, purposeful work, artistic experiences and imaginative play with a curriculum inspired by Waldorf education. Through close personal relationships with caregivers, teachers and nature, our children grow into capable, caring individuals who can step out into the wider world with confidence.
Imagine a setting which so envelops children in nurturance and warmth that they come to view the staff as an extension of family. This is the goal of A Child’s Nature. True human care of the infant and young child includes diligent attention to providing an environment which optimally suits the child’s development.
The warmth exuded by the staff extends to the provision of beautiful, calm classrooms with limitless opportunities for the young child to imagine, explore and invent through play and work. Through the mastery of age-appropriate tasks which have been carefully woven into the curriculum to build skill and competence, the child grows from infancy to school age with all of the necessary faculties for success in school life.
The flow of the day follows a rhythm appropriate for each age group, with quiet times and active times alternating like breathing in and out. Having predictable times for meals and different activities gives the children a comfortable security.
INFANTS – Our littlest babies are cared for according to their own natural rhythms: having bottles in teachers’ arms, playing and rolling on the floor, and napping in cozy cribs. Older mobile infants begin to fit into a group rhythm eating and napping together, playing and exploring movement indoors and outside.
TODDLERS – Each day, our toddlers spend hours outside: climbing, running, and just playing together in their yard with its sand, low climbing structures, and little woods. Indoors, they have an active circletime, watch a little puppet story, experience art activities, and have plenty of free play. They enjoy eating together, and sleep well on their mats after all their busy playing.
PRESCHOOL – Our preschool children spend even more time outdoors exploring the woods, walking long distances, building and challenging themselves on the playground. Inside, they participate in an elaborate seasonal circle, listen to a long story before rest time, help with community work, and enjoy a variety of art. Equally important, there is time for imaginative free play with friends. The special activities generally follow a weekly rhythm, painting and baking on specific days of the week. In addition, there is a rhythm to the year, and the children love preparing for and celebrating seasonal holidays (festivals).
In all our classes, there is no use of electronic media or computers; our children are much too busy playing and working, indoors and out. They learn language and other skills best through interaction with teachers and friends.
A Child’s Nature is a center-based childcare facility, but it is also like a large family. Our teachers know and care about children in all the classes, and the children like to see others of a different age. In our mixed-age classrooms, younger children can learn skills and language by imitating older ones, and older children can develop kindness and feel important helping the younger.
The Bluebell Cottage is the home for our infants and toddlers. In the morning, all the children who arrive early, beginning at 6:45 am, are together playing in the Bluebell Cottage. Then, around 8:00 am, the preschoolers go with their teacher up to the Sunflower classroom in the main school building for more involved activities.
What Our Parents Say:
“The staff is outstanding, well-trained, and truly passionate about working with kids providing high-quality childcare based on imagination and a community-rich model of early childhood education. The Center's commitment to positive experience and wellbeing of the children is clear.” –Kate
“My son has been with the teachers of A Child's Nature since he was 4 months old; he is 3 now. When a new "state of the art" childcare facility opened close to my work we experimented with trying them part time. Our son's experience at this main stream facility was very traumatic. He went from an environment of love/respect/friendship to being a number ($$). After weeks working with the "state of the art" facility to try and overcome my son's newfound fear and depression caused by their environment, we returned him to A Child's Nature full time to help him heal his soul. Thanks to ACN he is back to being his happy and imaginative self. Every morning I leave him with a quick kiss and smile as he runs off to start his day of adventure at ACN. Our brief experience comparing the 2 types of daycares taught us a valuable lesson. The most expensive "state of the art" facility with shiny new toys cannot compare to the value of what ACN offers with nothing more than homemade projects, warm meals, walks outside and the care of people who NOTICE the children in their care. ACN is the family we have chosen to care for our child during the times of day when we cannot be there for him ourselves.” –Michelle