FAQ

What ages does the program serve? Our program accommodates 20 preschool aged children. We accept children from ages 33 weeks through 5 years. All children enrolled will be in one multi-age grouping. 

What is tuition? Please see our tuition form for information on tuition and fees. 

How do I join the waitlist? Email preschool@mynaturecenter.org stating your interest in joining the waitlist. The director will respond with the link to create an account on BrightWheel and submit our waitlist application form. Once your application is approved, your child will automatically be added to the waitlist for your requested start date. Please note, registering for the waitlist does not guarantee your spot. If you do secure a spot, you will be notified via email or phone.

How early can I join the waitlist? Due to the small size of our program, a child may only be placed on the waitlist if they are within one year of being age eligible to enter the program. Because children are eligible to enroll at 33 months old, a child must be 21 months or older to be added to the waitlist.

When will we be notified if we have a spot?  The first inaugural class of Fenner Nature Preschool will be notified of their acceptance into the program three weeks prior to the start of the semester. Children will be selected based on a lottery of those on the waitlist. Future enrollments will be notified as spots become available. Once you have been notified you will have 24 hours to accept and pay the registration fee in order to keep your spot secured. 

When will school start? Our anticipated start date is the last week of October. More information on start date will be given upon notification of enrollment.

Does my child have to be toilet trained? Toilet training status is not an eligibility requirement for enrollment. All children enrolled who are not fully self-sufficient in toileting will use a positive toilet training approach at school. We ask that families partner with teachers on strategies in order to complete the process as soon as possible. 

How much time will be spent outside? Rain or shine, we will spend up to 80% of our day outside unless there are dangerous conditions. There may be days that we spend 100% of the day outside, including meals and naps. 

Will children have to wear masks? Currently, masks are optional for children and staff. If this policy changes, a notification will be shared with enrolled families in advance.

Are snacks and meals included? Families are responsible for sending their child with a nutritious lunch, two snacks, and a refillable water bottle. All items must be labeled with their name.

What if my child has disabilities, allergies or special instructions? We welcome all children (ages 3-5) into our program. Please communicate any special instructions regarding your child with the Preschool Director or Lead Teacher. We will do everything possible to support and include children with disabilities.

What is the teacher to student ratio? Our teacher-to-student ratio is 1 teacher to every 10 children, though there will be times when we operate at a lower ratio for more individualized activities.

What if the weather is bad? We are firm believers that there is no such thing as bad weather. As a nature-based program, we will be outside and celebrating all of the beautiful seasons that Michigan has to offer, including rain and snow. If it is unsafe to be outside (high winds, extreme cold, lightning, ice storms), we will stay in the indoor Dart Foundation Discovery Classroom until unsafe conditions have passed. 

How will your program prepare my child for Kindergarten? At Fenner Nature Preschool, we focus on learning and developmental domains that contribute to a well-rounded early childhood education. Children inspire the lessons through their own interests, while teachers naturally introduce mathematics, engineering, literacy, writing, music, art, and many other topics through the use of play, outdoor exploration and provocation based on those interests.