Wisdom begins in wonder.
— Socrates

Overview

Nestling House provides a carefully prepared environment where children explore through play, creative art, musical experiences, and real-life activities. Children feel comfortable and safe in a home-like setting where they play and learn to interact self-sufficiently within a small family group of mixed age peers. Children’s developing independence is fostered by modeling and setting individualized and developmentally appropriate expectations for mealtimes, self-care, and taking care of their environment.

Our skilled and loving caregivers nurture children through the development of long-term relationships, support of individual temperaments, and encouragement of interest exploration. Nestling House provides a screen-free environment rich with open ended materials that encourage creative thinking and nurture imagination. Environmental sustainability is emphasized in every aspect of a child’s experience at Nestling House - the food they eat, the toys and materials they play with, and the hands-on activities they engage in.

GUIDING PRINCIPLES

Home-like Setting

  • Children will flourish when they feel comfortable and secure in their environment.
  • Children should take part in creating the look and feel of the spaces they inhabit.
  • Taking ownership of their environment helps children develop a sense of responsibility.

Participation in Predictable Caregiving Routines

  • When children actively participate in predictable daily routines such as mealtimes, self-care, and caring for their environment, they will develop self-regulation, independence, and a respect for the space they inhabit.
  • Children need to be given opportunities to participate and cooperate in the caregiving process (e.g. feeding, diapering). Automated care (when adults “act upon” rather than “with” children) sends the message that children are objects rather than unique individuals.

Mixed Age Groups

  • Natural, family dynamics are established when children are placed in mixed-age groups.
  • In mixed-age groups, children are able to engage in helping relationships where older children serve as models for younger children while gaining valuable nurturing skills themselves.

Continuity of Care

  • It is essential for children to develop an attachment relationship with a consistent primary caregiver who is sensitive and responsive to their individual needs.
  • Strong relationships develop over time out of mutual understanding and trust between children and caregivers.
  • Maintaining consistent caregivers requires recognizing their intrinsic purpose of adult caregivers and ensuring they are appropriately compensated for the value of their work.

Natural Outdoor Play Space

  • Time spent outside in nature allows children to be the scientists and explorers they innately are.
  • Children thrive in environments that are rich in sensory details and the elements of nature (e.g. water, sand, wood, grass) stimulate the senses naturally.
  • A strong and positive relationship with the natural world fosters children’s social, emotional, and physical development.

Food and Commitment to Sustainability

  • Children’s healthy eating habits are promoted through the provision of wholesome meals made from local, sustainable, organic, and/or humanely produced ingredients.
  • Children learn where food comes from by participating in growing and cooking their own food.
  • Children actively involved in habits of waste reduction and other eco-conscious efforts will continue these behaviors into adulthood.
  • Minimizing exposure to chemicals found in cleaning products, plastic toys/materials, ensures a safe and healthy environment for children.