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Program

Program Basics

We are a fully-licensed, 4-STAR program that provides nature-based learning for children ages 3-5.

We spend time outdoors each day! Our center is the Balch Nature School indoor/outdoor space at the Fairbanks Museum & Planetarium in St. Johnsbury. We'll plan a few local field trips to learn more about the fields, forests, wetlands and farms in our area.

We offer a distinctive preschool program experience in that children have daily interactions with nature and witness seasonal changes.  Children work with natural materials such as sand, water, clay, sticks, seeds, and plants, and have access to the wealth of resources the Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium offers through its facility and educational programs.

Students must be fully toilet trained for this drop-off program.

Some highlights of our approach:

  • We foster close relationships. The maximum class size is 12 students, so every student gets guidance and attention from our teachers.
  • Flexible enrollment options allow you to select the times and dates that meet your schedule and align with your child's developmental pace. We offer 2, 3, 4, or 5 days/week enrollment options. New in 2017: an after-care program will allow children to stay in the Balch Nature School for an extended day, allowing working parents a full-day of care for their children.
  • Nature-based learning is our key. Our program uses thematic units that relate to the seasons and presents age-appropriate science concepts.  The Vermont Early Learning Standards (VELS) are integrated into the curriculum so children also learn important early literacy and math skills.

Application and tuition information is available here.