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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.

News from Balch

Click here for the full 2017-18 calendar.

Welcome to our new year!

We're thrilled that our Balch Nature School earned one more STAR, making us a  4-STAR preschool!  We are on our second year of participating in the Vermont Universal Pre-K system.  We currently have children from four different Supervisory Unions participating at Balch!

At Balch we strive to engage our children and their families in our natural world both here at the Fairbanks Museum and in the greater Northern region of our great North East Kingdom.

Welcome to our 2017- 2018 Balch Nature School Families, we begin our year as entomologists!  Our first weeks at school are all about learning routines, making friends and building relationships.  We will do this as entomologists!  Insects and bugs will be our thematic focus.

Ms. Carolyn & Ms. Karina 

There are still openings on Monday and Friday and a couple of spaces on Tuesday and Thursday. Our Wednesday class is FULL.

Application and tuition information is available here.