"Remember that special natural place that you went to as a child? Whether it was a ditch, a vacant lot, or a little bit of urban forest, you probably had a grand time exploring and creating games. You learned about the joys of a muddy puddle, you felt wonder at the owl that you saw in the tree, and you got to know a small place so deeply.
It can be hard to find the time and the space to play freely in wild places, and this is what forest school is all about. Getting dirty, climbing rocks, and finding our way safely and happily through the forest is all part of the forest school experience." - Fresh Air Learning
Registration will open Thu. Oct. 24th 2019 @ 9 am PST
Our Aim at The Nest
We aim to build a foundation for a healthy start for children by fostering a deep sense of curiosity and by holding space for significant amounts of outdoor, child-led exploratory play. We encourage learners to develop a deep sense of place through understanding their role in the natural world. Our teaching is guided by the local landscape, and we work to customize our programming around learners' passions and seasonal changes.
Days at The Nest
This January, we will be launching a pilot version of The Nest Forest School!
Location: The Whitehorse United Church (601 Main Street, Whitehorse, Yukon Y1A 1M6) will provide an important meeting point and indoor back-up location should the weather be truly inclement during program. Unless otherwise noted, we will meet children outside each day at the edge of the Church parking lot.
Days of operation: Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoons Program hours: 12:30 - 3:30 pm Dates: Tue. Jan. 7 2020 to Thu. Jun. 4 2020 Days closed: Mar. 17, 18, 19 + 24, 25, 26 2020 Class size: 14 part-time positions are available
Sample Daily Routine Actual days may vary depending on weather, types of activities, and needs of the children on a specific day. 12:30 pm Drop off 12:45-1:00 pm Gratitude circle + Welcome (song, story) 1:00 - 2:00 pm Core Outdoor Routine + Exploratory Play 2:00 - 2:20 pm Snack & Story (indoor or outdoor depending on weather) 2:20 - 3:00 pm Core Outdoor Routine + Exploratory Play 3:00 - 3:30 pm Closing circle + Goodbye (song, story) 3:30 pm Pick up
Cost of program: $24/session @ 60 sessions
Payment plans are available upon registration.
Registration for this program will be on Thursday, October 24th 2019 at 9:00 am PST. An information package will more details about the program will be available here on September 30th, 2019.
Registration link will be active Thu. Oct. 24th @ 9 am PST
Flow & Curriculum
Our programs are designed with empathy, awareness and community at the heart. Learn more about Rivers to Ridges' philosophy. Programing at the forest school is set in the outdoors, child-led, imaginative and focused on nurturing curiousity and wonder.
What are the program details? The pilot program for 3-5 years olds will run out of the Whitehorse United Church (601 Main Street, Whitehorse, Yukon) on Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday afternoons (12:30 pm - 3:30 pm) from January 7 - June 4, 2020.
Will parents/guardians be required to volunteer time with the program? Yes, parent/family volunteering will be a required condition of enrollment. A parent/guardian will be expected to volunteer approximately once every two weeks.
Will there be space within the program for special guests (e.g. visiting Elders, Knowledge Holders or others)? Yes, Elders and other visiting specialists will be joining our programs periodically to spend time with the children.
Will the program provide snacks for my child? No, there will not be a meal program, and children will be expected to arrive with their own snacks and drinks.
Is this program focused on outdoor learning and time spent on the land in all seasons? Yes, we intend to spend as much time exploring and playing outdoors as possible!
Will this program provide my child with social, emotional, ecological and intellectual development opportunities? Yes, children will gain skills in a range of interpersonal, development and educational areas (see chart above).
How can I enrol and register my child in The Nest? Starting on Thursday, October 24, 2019 parents/guardians are welcome to apply for a spot at The Nest through an online form available at www.riverstoridges.org/forest-school. If your child is selected for a spot in a future program, you will receive and email from Rivers to Ridges staff. You will then have 48 hours to confirm your spot by submitting a down payment and completing relevant forms.
My child is turning 3 or will turn 6 within the upcoming session. Are they allowed to register? Your child must be 3 years of age or older as of September 1, 2019, and under the age of 6 as of January 1, 2020.
What percentage of 3/4/5-year olds will be accepted? We will do our best to ensure an even mix of age ranges within the program.
Who receives a bursary? How do you decide? Bursaries are limited and reserved for those most in need of financial assistance. Decisions are made by the Rivers to Ridges team. If you feel your child would benefit from and contribute to the program, and attendance would put a financial hardship on your family please consider applying to the Strong Roots Bursary Fund at www.riverstoridges.org/bursary-fund.
What is your cold weather policy? Please ensure your child is always prepared and ready to be outside when they come to The Nest. As you know, weather can change during the day. Information on this can be found on on our Info & Gear List page www.riverstoridges.org/info-and-gear-list.
Can my child attend if they have an inclusion worker? Yes, provided the the inclusion worker is qualified and meets our criteria, plus their presence will enable your child to fully participate in all the activities (indoor and outdoor). If your child will need the support of an inclusion worker to attend program, please contact us at email@example.com.
Will you offer after-school, Summer, holiday programs? It is unlikely that these programs will be offered during the first year of the program. If this changes, we will send a notification to our mailing list.
What happens if my child is selected through the lottery, and they have a sibling in the same age range? We will keep family groups of siblings together. If one is selected in the lottery, each eligible sibling will also be offered a spot.
Strong Roots Bursary Fund Information
With the aim of keeping all of our programs as accessible as possible, Rivers to Ridges has created the Strong Roots Bursary Fund available for families in need. It is with the support of many that we are able to have and keep this funding available. Unfortunately, we can not guarantee funding for all applicants.
Bursaries are limited and reserved for those most in need. Decisions are made by Rivers to Ridges staff and Council members. If you feel your child would benefit from and contribute to the program, and attendance would put a financial hardship on your family, please consider applying to our Fund.
Other potential funding options available for attendance at the Forest Preschool:
Child Care Subsidy Program assists families who need child care for their children and may not be able to afford the cost of child care.
Child Care Services Unit: 867.667.3492 Toll Free (Yukon, Nunavut and NWT); 1-800-661-0408 ext. 3492 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jordan's Principle ensures all First Nations children can access the products, services and supports they need, when they need them. It can help with a wide range of health, social and educational needs.