🚫 Some of you may already know about the major roadblock we're encountering with the launch of The Nest Forest School.
🌿 If this is news to you, the short story is we have everything in place to launch this new program, but we've been told by our insurance broker that they're not able to cover a new licensed childcare centre/daycare facility. This means we weren't able to open on doors as planned on Tuesday, October 13th, and we're heartbroken.
🚫 Longer story: We have been steadily moving through licensing steps in order to have our space prepared to welcome families next week. The greatest (and most unexpected) barrier we have encountered is that of insurance for the program. Through our exhaustive research and outreach since the Summer, locally as well as internationally, it came to light on Friday October 2nd that we are not currently able to receive insurance coverage for a new childcare program. Insurance companies have been unwilling to insure a new preschool program during uncertain times. This is in part due to the way insurance companies are responding to COVID-19 - considering children are a vulnerable population, new preschool programs are excluded from all insurance policies that we have yet encountered.
🌿 Please know that we are continuing to work with our current insurance provider, as well as insurance brokers and with Health Care Services in an effort to find possible alternatives for our program to run. We are heartbroken to have to delay the program at this time for this reason, and we will reach out as soon as a solution is found.
Please review The Nest Forest School COVID-19 Policies below:
*Families will be notified as soon as program timing is confirmed*
After reading over all waivers + the Family Handbook, you can:
Register for a full-time spot at the The Nest Forest School Click the button above, and complete registration.
Pre-register for a part-time spot at the The Nest Forest School Pre-register for a part-time spot. Once another family has pre-registered for a second part-time spot, both your registration and their registration will be processed at the same time. Your part-time spot is only fully confirmed when both families have had their registrations processed!
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. We will have routine, regular and repeated access to beautiful local forest spaces and integration time through reflective and self-regulation activities.
Expected start date: TBD* *As stated above, The Nest has been unable to open as of yet. We are working to secure insurance for our Forest School program.
Final program date: Friday, June 11th 2021
Ages: 3-5* *Children must be 3 years old as of April 2020, and under the age of 6 before January 2021
Location: 509 Alexander St. + the forested area by the clay cliffs
Full-time*: Monday-Friday, 8:30am -3:30pm Excluding two-week holidays in December and March + statutory holidays *Part-time positions available to attend Monday+Wednesday or Tuesday+Thursday, and alternating Fridays
Payment Plans An option to enroll in a payment plan will be made available to you during registration.
Cancellation Policy Rivers to Ridges designs and implements programs based on enrollment. We invest in program planning, equipment and other costs before the program begins. These expenses cannot be recovered in the event of a cancellation. When considering a cancellation, please be aware and respectful of our policies and commitment to facilitating quality programs.
Refund Policy A full refund (less $50 non-refundable deposit) will be issued to any cancellation made during the notice period of 28 calendar days or more prior to the start date of the program. Full refunds (including $50 deposit) will be offered for a cancellation within 48 hours of registering.
Program Cancellation Rivers to Ridges reserves the right to cancel programs that have low registration. In this event, a transfer or full refund will be provided (less processing fees).
Wait Lists There is no wait list for The Nest at this time. Stay tuned - Wait list to come in January 2021!
Late Pick-Up If a parent/guardian is late to pick up their child, a late fee charge of $25 will be recorded and invoiced. After 30 minutes, an additional $25 will be charged. Parents/guardians will be required to pay for any accumulated late fees, or services/service may be suspended for their child.
We apologize in advance for any inconvenience and encourage parents/guardians to try and make special arrangements if they know they will be unable to pick up their child on time.
Days at The Nest
General Flow of a Day at Forest School Each day can vary, depending on the weather and interests and needs of the children. 8:15 - 8:30 amDrop off 8:30 - 9:30 am Soft start (trickle-in activities) 9:30 - 10:00 amGratitude circle + Morning routines (song, story, question of the day) 10:00 - 10:30 amSnack + Story (indoor or outdoor depending on weather) 10:30 - 11:00 am Group activity 11:00 - 12:00 pmCore Outdoor Routine + Exploratory Play 12:00 - 12:45 pm Lunch + Quiet time 12:45 - 2:15 pmCore Outdoor Routine + Exploratory Play 2:15 - 2:45 pmSnack + Story (indoor or outdoor depending on weather) 2:45 - 3:15 pm Kindness + Closing circle (Sharing treasures, sing a song, Story of the Day) 3:15 - 3:30 pm Pick up
Our programs are designed with empathy, awareness and community at the heart. Learn more about Rivers to Ridges' Philosophy. Programming at the Nest is set in the outdoors, child-led, imaginative, and focused on nurturing curiousity and wonder. Our days are guided by the interests of the participants and shaped by our environment.
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).
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 April 1, 2020, and under the age of 6 as of January 1, 2021. Who receives a bursary? How do you decide? Decisions are made by the Rivers to Ridges team. Bursaries are limited and reserved for those most in need of financial assistance. If you have already reached out for support from the Child Care Subsidy and/or Jordan’s Principle, financial support through the Strong Roots Bursary Fund may be available for families in need. Please visit www.riverstoridges.org/bursary-fund for more details on applying to this fund.
What is your cold weather policy? We are guided by the weather as much as we are by the needs of the children we serve. We aim to be outside in all weather conditions, and we will have a temporary structure set up outside for warmth as needed. While we do not have a hard temperature cut-off, we do take extra precautions at -30 and below. Please ensure your child is always prepared and ready to be outside when they come to The Nest. As you know, weather can change quickly during the day. Information to help families prepare 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 the program be closed for holidays? The Nest Forest School will be closed for all Yukon school holidays (excluding PD) and statutory holidays. This includes two weeks in December (Dec 21 2020 - Jan 1 2021) and two weeks in March (Mar 15-26 2021), as well as summer holidays beginning on June 11, 2021.
Will you offer after-school, Summer, holiday programs? It is unlikely that these programs will be offered. If this changes, we will send a notification to our mailing list. What happens if I registered one child and they have a sibling in the same age range? We will always do our best to keep family groups of siblings together. If one is registered, we will do our best to ensure 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. 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 Tammy Bazylinski: 867-667-3356 | email@example.com Anna Klee: 867-667-3352 | firstname.lastname@example.org There is also Jordan's Principle Call Centre: 1-855-JP-CHILD (1-855-572-4453) which is a 24 hour service.
"I remember when my son was about three, in the constant questioning stage. Trying to be a good mother, I dutifully answered every question with some informative explanation.
Then one day in the middle of another train of questions and answers, he suddenly wailed up at me, "Mom, DON'T ANSWER!" and he burst into tears of outrage.
I was stunned, but crouching down to hug his tears away, I realized that he didn't want my answers. All those questions were a plea to come into his world with him, at his level, to join with him in his curiousity."
- Ellen Haas, co-author of Coyote's Guide to Connecting with Nature
Meet Our Forest School Educators
Rosalind was born in Whitehorse, on the traditional territory of the Kwanlin Dün First Nation and the Ta'an Kwäch'än Council, and is thrilled to call the Yukon home again. Growing up in Ontario and in Denmark, Rosalind has many memories of playing outside with her sisters, creating worlds in a cluster of flowering bushes or up in the branches of trees – and she cannot wait to continue to explore the worlds that await The Nest Forest School.
She is a certified teacher with a B.Ed. from St. Thomas University, and a B.A. in Geography and Aboriginal Perspectives, and Drama from Mount Allison University. Following her time in New Brunswick, Rosalind spent time teaching English in France, baking in Ottawa, farming and teaching kindergarten in Inuvik, NWT. Rosalind helped launch the pilot for the Nest Forest School in January 2020, and thoroughly enjoyed spending the 2020 Summer Camp season in the forest with Rivers to Ridges!
Rosalind is passionate about play-based learning and the role it can play in helping children gain autonomy and responsibility. She thinks the learning journey is much like a seed as it grows - each child needs a nurturing environment to stretch their roots out into, in order to flourish. Beyond Forest School, Rosalind enjoys singing and playing music, growing veggies, and all aspects of theatre – from backstage production to performing in Shakespeare in the Park (and once appeared as a bilingual, talking broccoli!). E-mail Rosalind at email@example.com
Kelly was born in Guelph Ontario on the ancestral homelands of the Anishinaabek People, specifically the traditional territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation. She moved to the Yukon in 2014 to pursue a career in teaching while increasing her naturalist knowledge found in this beautiful territory. Kelly holds a BA in Modern Languages (French and Spanish) and Sociology from Bishop’s University in Sherbrooke, Quebec. In the summer of 2018 Kelly completed a course with National Geographic in Ottawa with a focus on Indigenous Studies and teaching Indigenous Perspectives. She also holds a certificate as a trained Montessori Elementary Teacher through the Association Montessori Internationale from Toronto, Ontario where she was guided down a path of mentoring the natural curiosity and deep sense of empathy that exists in children.
Kelly has been teaching in Montessori for 10 years in a few capacities: as a French Assistant in a preschool setting as well as in a lower elementary classroom and she has spent the last 6 years in Whitehorse teaching in a Montessori elementary classroom with grades 1, 2 and 3. Kelly is now excited to be bringing her passions forward with the Rivers to Ridges Team at the Forest School, The Nest.
Outside of work Kelly can be found writing music, playing guitar and ukulele, writing poetry and short stories, practicing yoga, reading, working in theatre productions, and on arts based volunteer boards. She enjoys handwork such as crocheting, sewing, beading, bookmaking and up-cycling or repurposing clothing. Kelly is most curious about plants life, the changing seasons, life in the Age of the Invertebrates (and beyond!), human interconnectedness and recognizing what binds us as a community. Email Kelly at firstname.lastname@example.org