Half Day Preschool
A fully outdoor, mixed-aged program
This page includes more in-depth information on our school year programming. Please see our Admissions page for session dates and tuition cost.
If you need financial aid, we invite and strongly encourage you to submit an interest form, which includes a "yes/no" financial aid question. We are committed to providing meaningful nature education to youth regardless of family income. Anyone who can demonstrate a full or partial need is welcome and encouraged to apply.
Half day preschool at The Gardens at Elm Bank is a fully outdoors, mixed age program. (Click here for a video of the grounds.) We spend our days in the forest and the extraordinary gardens. The children are active participants in selecting which place we visit each day and how we explore them.
Families drop-off and pick-up their children at the same outdoor spot every day. At 9:00AM, we begin with a brief circle time that includes our greetings, songs, seasonal events, and safety rules. We then hike to our "adventure spot," which varies each day. We carefully select these outdoor "classrooms" for safety and diversity of natural elements that support children's imagination and creativity. Regular spots include Weezie's Garden, a magical playscape offering several different themes to engage the senses of young children, and Dirt Hills, a shady forest refuge where students can climb, explore, and engage in joyful mud sliding on rainy days.
Children have a small snack at the adventure spot and then are free to play, explore, read, and participate in self-initiated or teacher-guided projects, all under close supervision of our talented, dedicated team of teachers.
Around 11:45AM, the class will hike back to the designated pick up/drop off spot and play or read a story while waiting for families to arrive.
Family members can review their child's day via the Storypark app, which allows teachers to document individual and group learning in rich format that includes photo and video. Storypark child notes and classroom stories are tagged with relevant early learning competencies, such as "Curiosity & Initiative: The child invents projects and works on them with growing independence."
To inquire about admission to our Wellesley half day program, please complete our interest form and a staff member will be in touch shortly.