How old must my child be to enroll?
Your child must be 3.9 years old by September 1st (or July 1st for a summer start date) to be eligible for our program.
Can you describe a typical day?
7:30 - 9: drop off, unrestricted play
9 - 10: Attendance, short morning meeting, snack, prepping for the trails
10 - 11:30 On the trails and in the woods
11:30 - 2 pm Clean up, lunch & quiet time,
2- 4: Afternoon curricula.
(Lunch and afternoon activities are typically outdoor from mid-April through mid-October).
4- 5:30 pm The final part of the day is unrestricted play, either in outside areas on our campus (the "stumps" , the "pen", the front lawn, the patio) or in the classroom.
How much of the time will children be outside?
Depending on the season, children will be outside 50% - 75% of every day in all kinds of weather: rain, snow, and sunshine. Families provide all indoor and outdoor clothing as necessary. Children will never go outside when it is dangerous to do so.
What do the children do while on the trails?
Under the guidance of teachers and a naturalist, the children explore, investigate, observe, touch (when appropriate) share, discuss, ask questions and make connections to material introduced in the classroom. While each month incorporates specific curricula relating to the fauna, flora, cyclical and seasonal changes, the exploration is open ended with the teachers supporting the children's interests.
Moose hill farm trail map
Are the children hiking the entire time?
No. Along the trail are stopping areas with features that serve as natural playgrounds: The Cellar Hole, The Little Woods, The Perfect Play Ground, Fern Forrest, just to name some.
How will I know what my child is doing all day?
Each classroom posts a daily blog with photos that will give you great insight into your child's day.
What happens if the weather is bad?
"Bad weather" is a relative term. At the Nature School only dangerous conditions such as lightening or high winds keep us indoors - typically no more than a couple of times a year. In extreme weather, we may modify our time outside to limit exposure but typically we get out every day.
Is nature play more dangerous?
Nature play is no more dangerous than the other kinds of activities children love to do: running, playing sports, riding in a car, jumping on a trampoline. We always consider safety and learn how to dress for the weather, which plants are safe and which are not, how to interact (or not) with wildlife and strangers, and how to take care of ourselves and each other in a variety of situations.
The property also hosts cattle, chickens and other livestock.
Is mask wearing mandatory?
We are a mask friendly/mask optional/mask flexible program for students, staff and families. Click here for more information about our COVID policies
Can I pick my child up before 5:30?
Yes, the schedule is designed to be flexible and meet the individual needs of the families. Typically families pick up anytime between 3:30 - 5:30.
Can I drop my child off after 9 am?
No. We require that you drop your child off before 9 am except in case of appointments or unforeseen circumstances that cause a delay (in which case, please call us). Late arrivals are disruptive and can make transitions hard for young children.
Do I provide lunch?
Yes. Please provide a lunch and two snacks -for the morning and afternoon. We do not refrigerate or heat up lunches. More guidance around lunches is provided to new families during our family orientations.
Are peanuts/nuts allowed?
No, we do not allow peanuts, tree nuts or nut products into the building due to life threatening allergies among our student population.
What if my child does not sleep during rest time?
EEC requires all full day childcare centers to create the conditions for napping. This means that for the first 30 minutes all children are required to stay on their mats quietly and without any distractions. It gives themselves and others a chance to fall asleep. After 30 minutes, children who are not napping will be given quiet activities to keep them occupied until rest-time is over. Rest-time lasts approximately 90 minutes. Please note: many children who do not nap at home, will nap at school!.
What if I have a question or need to communicate something to my child's teacher at drop off?
If you have a simple question or information to convey, just speak to your child's teachers at drop off (or pick up). If you have a more complicated matter to discuss, please let the Site Coordinator or Executive Director know and we will arrange for a time in which you can speak to your child's teacher without distractions.
How do I reach my child' s teachers during school hours?
There are a few ways to communicate with your child's teachers. You can send a message through our ParentSquare messaging & communications platform or you can call the school and ask to speak to your child's teacher directly. If your child's teacher is available to speak on the phone, your call will be transferred to the classroom. If your teacher is not available, your call will be received by the Site Coordinator or Executive Director. During school hours, someone will pick up the phone. After school hours, you can leave a message on our Voice Mail.
Do ParentSquare messages go through after school hours?
If your message arrives after school hours and is not urgent or time sensitive, the teacher will read and respond to it the following school day. If you need to communicate something urgent or time sensitive after hours, please message the Site Coordinator or Executive Director directly.
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