Our Program

The Maple Hill Play Garden is an inclusive, licensed family child care program

with a focus on equity

that nurtures the joy and wonder of a simple childhood.

We strive to hold grounded, nourishing space for all children.

 We also strive to hold space in which children of the global majority

and female/nonbinary children

are able to step fully, uninterrupted into their work of play;

and in which children of dominant groups

begin learning the subtle art of learning to make space for others.

In the spring and the fall we follow a forest nursery model

and spend most of the morning outdoors (including meals) in almost any weather.

In the colder winter months we move indoors for eating,

but still spend the majority of our mornings outdoors in almost any weather.

In this space, play is the child's most valued work.

We are located in Amherst, MA

and serve children ages 15 months* through 3 years.

We provide healthy morning snacks and hearty, homemade organic hot lunches

The program runs Monday-Friday,

full days (8:30-3:30)

or half days (8:30-12:15).

The Maple Hill Play Garden operates on a school year schedule.

Families may select three, four, or all five days.

Preference will be given to families who reflect the diversity of our global world

and to full-day, full-time families.

Financial aid, consisting of part- or full-time scholarships

(including the cost of rain and snow gear as needed)

are made possible using a percentage of full-paying families' tuition

and through the generous donations, big and small, of families near and far

with the intent of improving access to quality, outdoor early childhood education.

*Children must be both walking without assistance

and down to one afternoon nap/day

(the children here go down for nap around 12:45-1:00)