Forest Hill Nature Preschool and Childcare centers are OPEN and operating with strict guidelines for cleaning and limiting exposure to Covid-19. In September we moved our Infant/Toddler program to our location at Advent Lutheran Church and opened Kindergarten and Elementary School classrooms at our Bynum Rd location. Please call the school for registration availability and stay tuned for updated virtual tours!
Preschool and Childcare Registration
Infants and Toddlers in our program will maintain their space year-round as needed, and students enrolled in our preschool classes for 2, 3, or 4-year-olds will need to re-register each year for the next preschool class. Preschool classes run from September to May, and we also offer a summer session that runs during June, July, and August. Re-registration for current families is scheduled for December and January for the next school year beginning in September. We will open registration for the summer session in March.
Directions to our Preschool Facility
Our Preschool facility serves children from 6 weeks to 5 years old for both school year and summer sessions. Please come visit us in our location at Advent Lutheran Church: 2232 Rock Spring Rd. in Forest Hill MD. When you arrive at the church parking lot the Infant/Toddler program drop off and pick up is at the first door and the Preschool program drop off and pick up is at the back door following the parking lot to the back of the building to the glass doors.
Directions to our Childcare Facility
Our Childcare facility is currently set up to serve Kindergarten and Elementary school students in small groups for full-day care with classroom support for virtual instruction from your child's home school. Families can access us easily from the Rock Spring shopping center by following Bynum Rd 1/4 mile and looking for our facility on the right.
We are currently operating under restricted class sizes for the current school session. We have groups of 6 in our Infant classes, 9 in our Toddler classes, 12 in our Preschool 2s classes, and up to 16 in our Preschool 3s, 4s, Kindergarten, and Elementary classes. We have limited availability in our classes at this time, but you are welcome to fill out the Waiting List form below and someone from the school will contact you as soon as possible to let you know what spaces are available.
What is the Reggio Emilia approach?
This educational approach is named after a city in Italy where it originated. There are several key elements to the approach:
We believe that your child's preschool education should be a cooperative effort between the school, the child, and the parents. At Forest Hill Nature Preschool & Childcare parents are valued and supported. We will work with you to create the best educational experience for your child, including lots of opportunities for parents to be involved with the curriculum and with the school--field trips, celebrations, and special parent & child events.
We value children's active participation in the learning process. Children are presented with many materials both natural and traditional with which to help them construct their own understandings of concepts taught. This is a powerful approach to education--children learn best when they are excited and involved in their own learning, and children behave best when they are provided with both guidance and respect by their teachers.
The school environment is essential to providing children with a meaningful learning experience. We believe that an outdoor learning environment provides children with opportunities to interact with nature--observing, experimenting, building, planting, and tending. Our classroom environments are carefully planned to offer children opportunities to become artists, dancers, singers, builders, scientists, chefs, athletes, mathematicians, readers, and writers.
Education of the Whole Child
Your child's academic, social, emotional, and spiritual growth is our top priority. We will challenge your child with academics presented through play and hands-on projects. Children will be offered regular opportunities for working with classroom computers. Weekly Spanish instruction will challenge your child to learn basic Spanish phrases and concepts. All children will receive enrichment through our Art Studio, Wild in the Woods, Yoga & Reading Group (4yr old's) programs. They will meet with the teachers in small groups to create projects, enjoy outdoor experiences, practice mindfulness and develop reading skills. Regular cooking projects and activities will give your children excellent mathematical applications and memorable real-world experiences. We will teach your child to use the Fruits of the Spirit--love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control--on a daily basis in all interactions at school. We will teach your child how to use specific strategies to share, take turns, cooperate, and handle conflicts. We are dedicated to helping your child become the unique and special person God has created him or her to be!
Teaching your child in a safe and nurturing environment is our top priority. Making sure that your child meets all their developmental domains and to have an environment that allows your child to openly explore and play in an uninterrupted environment. It is also our goal to respect your child as a unique human being and to make sure that your child's basic needs of diapering and feeding are met in a warm and responsive way. Your baby or toddler will learn about the world around them by exploring through play. Our caregivers understand that your child needs a safe and interesting environment to make discoveries that will help build their development and learning.
Resources for Infant Educators (RIE)
The Magda Gerber's RIE philosophy believes that parents and caregivers have a respect for infants and trust that they are natural inventors, explorers, and self-learners. Caregivers can show respect to all children in their care, including infants and toddlers. We show respect by listening to your child's needs and responding to them promptly, by talking to your child about what is happening around them including during care-giving routines, and by investing quality time spent with your child. Our caregivers will take time to learn your child's unique ways of communicating and will build reciprocal back and fourth communication with your baby or toddler through warm supportive verbal and nonverbal interactions
We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children."
Native American Proverb
* We intend to give the earth back to your children by providing daily natural experiences that include exploration, experimentation, and inquiry.
* Our facility provides children with the only center-based natural playground in Harford county.
* We promote recycling in classrooms and in the community--offering recycling at school for paper, plastic, glass, and aluminum as well as juice bags, chip bags and wrappers, and offering community recycling for paper and cardboard, CDs and DVDs, cell phones, computer cables, remotes, and ink cartridges.
* We are dedicated to helping families reduce trash by offering incentives to students for bringing re-usable containers in their lunches instead of disposable bags.
* We will reduce our trash at school by composting some of our food scraps into our worm compost bin.
* We learn to take good care of our school's pets. Pippin is a 1-year-old black rabbit. Children take turns feeding and caring for Pippin and Pippin loves to come visit the children in their classrooms. Owen, Penelope and Elsa are our pet lizards. Owen and Penelope are leopard geckos and Elsa is a bearded dragon. The children love to help feed the lizards (we keep live crickets and mealworms for them to eat) and they love to pet Elsa. Lightning is our pet box turtle. The children enjoy watching him move and feeding him (especially when he eats worms!) Yertle the Turtle is our pet water turtle. Yertle loves receiving attention from the children in the classroom, especially when they show her toy turtles! Bosley is a 3-year-old hedgehog. The children love watching and petting Bosley every day. Mrs. Bob Evans is our 6-month-old pink toe tarantula that lives in a furnished terrarium, where children like to watch her interact with her environment. Minnie the chinchilla was donated to Forest Hill Nature Preschool three years ago. Minnie bathes in lava dust and can often be seen happily wandering the hallways in her exercise ball. Bella, Lila, Bo and Oliver are our pet guinea pigs. Children in the 4B class love interacting with and taking care of Bo and Oliver. Bella and Lila live in the school lobby and are happy to entertain and talk to anyone who walks by!
* We practice organic gardening--giving the children a chance to plant and care for flowers, vegetables, and herbs.
* We practice and teach water conservation in the classroom and outside, making use of our rain barrel to help us keep our plants hydrated.