Welcome!

Ready to Join? Schedule a Visit or Apply Now

Visits to enroll for Fall 2019 begin in February

Enrollment for 2018-19 is full, and there is a waiting list. Please request a visit before applying.


About Us

Tree House Hollow Preschool is a small, non-profit, environmentally-based preschool. The garden and play area offer wonderful places for children to explore and use their natural sense of wonder, and provide a unique and important learning environment. Driven by the strong belief in experiential, child-centered education, many activities are offered each day providing children with the opportunity to make choices, become independent thinkers and active learners. By observing the children’s interests, a developmentally appropriate and emergent curriculum unfolds, providing a rich and respectful learning environment.

By fostering a community where cooperation and peaceful conflict resolution are valued, Tree House Hollow supports children as they learn and grow. An emphasis is placed on instilling a reverence for Mother Earth by exploring nature through field trips, art, stories, songs and movement. These experiences give children a strong foundation in the natural world and a love of learning that will last a lifetime. With respect for ourselves and others, Tree House Hollow provides a magical, fun experience for preschoolers. Organic food is served up at the program with lots of love.

Tree House Hollow Preschool is a Non Profit, 501(c)(3) organization.

Program Options

Days Per Week

Pick 2, 3, 4 or 5 days per week.

Full or Half Days

Half Day only 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Full Day 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

A.M. Care

8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m., or

8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.

Contract Care

1:00 p.m. – 3:00 or 4:00 p.m.

2 -hour minimum & subject to availability

Campuses

Redwood

12-14 children with 3 teachers, and co-op parent.

Redwood Campus is our newest site for 2 year olds and young 3s, opened in the Fall of 2015. It is located in a lovely vintage house that has been occupied by school programs for the last many years. Redwood Campus has a large open yard with plenty of areas for young children to explore.

565 Watertrough Road, Sebastopol, CA 95472

Enter from Starlight Lane

Creekside

16 children, with 3 teachers, and co-op parent.

Creekside Campus is our enchanting site for 3-5 year olds. Children from Redwood Campus will continue here and we welcome new friends every year as well. This campus is located at the back of Apple Blossom Elementary School, bordering a creek. Although we don’t have access to the creek, we get to enjoy the abundance of wildlife that resides there.

700 Watertrough Road, Sebastopol, CA 95472

Program

We enroll children 2 years old to 5 years old

Depending on our campus, we have up to 16 children each day. We have 2-3 fully qualified and experienced teachers. The Campus Director is also hands-on and available to shift from an administrative to teaching role as needed.

We find the small group size and mixed ages lend to a 'family like' atmosphere where helpfulness, manners, and cooperation are more naturally fostered.

Each day, following morning circle, we split into 2 or 3 small groups. It strengthens bonds and relationships when the children have a dedicated time to work with a small group of peers. Some of the things we do during this special time include: harvesting from the garden, preparing snack, nature walks, cooperative games/projects, story writing, and other activities specifically related to the current interest of the group.

We are an indoor/outdoor school (mostly), and require appropriate play clothing for all types of weather conditions. Our work is often messy so spare clothing is a must. We make snack each day, usually with the children, and it is available around 10:30. It is usually self-serve but also family style. Children are encouraged to pass things around and help each other.

We have a lot of experience and a deep understanding of child development. We are able to view naturally occurring conflicts as learning opportunities, and are skilled at guiding children through the process of finding solutions to problems. We love to share our knowledge with parents, as this is a most important life skill.

We have a bottom line expectation of physical and emotional safety for all.

For the kids who are interested, we offer opportunities to work on math, reading, and writing skills. About 1/3 of our children go on to Apple Blossom (fairly academic), about 1/3 to Waldorf-inspired schools, and about 1/3 split into private, charter, or home school programs. We find that we accommodate all of our families well, with our unique philosophy and practices.

Adventure Day Program

Tree House Hollow's Adventure Day Program (for our older Creekside students) ensures that most of our students, who attend 3 or more days, have one full class day in nature.

We believe that children have an inherent right to experience nature and we follow the American Forest Kindergarten model of 'Total Nature Immersion' regardless of weather or season. Nature Immersion is defined as "unstructured free time in nature resulting in an intimate, deep and personal connection to the natural world." During our Adventure Days we roam far and wide around Sonoma County - mostly exploring our diverse and beautiful regional parks. We follow a Flow Learning (aka Interest-led or Child-led) teaching style. Flow learning leads to emergent curriculum, the lessons that emerge when children are free explorers in nature.

We support families in learning to dress their children appropriately for all the different weather we encounter and we have a 'lending library' of rain suits and boots for families who need them. We keep a low teacher:student ratio of 2 teachers to 8 children and use our 10 passenger 'Lady Van' to get ourselves into the wild 3 days a week.

Summer Camp

Tree House Hollow offers a summer camp program for eight weeks during the summer time. The summer program varies slightly from our school year program. We are 100% outside in our play gardens (except for rest time) and you have the convenience of signing up on a weekly basis. We plan themes for the kids to immerse in for the week and the Creekside camp goes on several field trips.

Our summer program weeks run June 4th and end July 27th for the 2018 year. Please reference our Calendar.

Camp runs from 9-1. No before care during summer time, and aftercare ends at 4pm (instead of 5pm during the school year).

Our rates are higher for camp to accommodate the flexibility of weekly sign ups. Please contact us for rate info.

Philosophy

Vision Statement

Our Vision is to provide a safe, quality preschool program that emphasizes a connection to nature and respect for all living things. We strive to accomplish this through a joyful, play-based curriculum that recognizes and appreciates the unique personality of each child. A spirit of caring and community will prevail.

Foundation

The basis of our preschool’s philosophy is the belief that children are innately social, curious, and active learners. Our teachers recognize the value of role modeling and the importance of observing, expanding upon interests, and knowing when to step in or step back. Materials and activities that engage the child, and allow them to explore freely, are essential.

We also understand that a connection to nature is one of the most important gifts we can give children growing up in such a technological era. We strive to establish strong foundations to last a lifetime. In addition to a love of nature, we encourage compassion, tolerance, self-expression, creativity, resourcefulness, and responsibility.

We draw from philosophies that include Waldorf, Reggio Emilia, Nature Based, and some Montessori. This approach makes our preschool unique.

Setting

The garden and indoor/outdoor play areas offer wonderful places for children to explore and use their natural sense of wonder. They provide a unique and important learning environment. Driven by our strong belief in experiential, child-centered education, and universal values, many activities are offered each day providing children with the opportunity to make choices, become independent thinkers and active learners. By observing the children’s interests, a developmentally appropriate and emergent curriculum unfolds, providing a rich and respectful learning environment.

Family Participation

Monthly Activities

We require all families to give at least 2 hours a month service to our school. The more involved you are in your child’s school, the deeper and richer the experience will be for all! We have 4 general areas of participation and ask that you choose at least one.

  • Garden Committee
  • Site Improvement and Beautification
  • Classroom Help: General help both in and out of the classroom
  • Fundraising / Community Outreach
  • We also encourage you to attend our Board Meetings, held monthly, and consider joining our Board
  • Parent education meetings are held several times a year at each campus. These meetings are free to you and provide valuable insights into child development. They also fulfill our goal of working together as a parent/teacher team and being on the same page. You must plan to send at least one member of your household to each meeting with the exception of missing one meeting per school year as we understand that schedule conflicts happen. These meetings are a service to you and do not count for parent hours.

Co-op

We offer a parent co-op opportunity at both of our campuses. Parents who would like to sign up for this would work one day each week in the classroom from 8:45–1:15.

There is a $100 discount per month for families who participate in this way. Our co-op option allows parents and children to experience school together for one of their school days and emphasizes the community aspect of our program.

Staff take on a mentoring role and help guide parents in learning positive discipline and other skills in communication, setting safe and practical boundaries, and much more.