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Nature Preschool

Imagine spending 50% or more of your day exploring, playing and learning outside. Students attending the FULL-TIME Ijams Nature Preschool will do just that. It makes you want to be a kid again!

Ijams Nature Preschool

  • Exploratory Play and Learning for Kids 3-5*

  • Low Child-to-Teacher Ratio

  • Outside Play Every Day (At Least 50% Each Day)!

  • Social, Emotional, and Academic Kindergarten Preparedness

  • Full Safety Plan to Care for Families During COVID-19

Is your family considering full-time or part-time preschool? Join us for an Open House!

Virtual - Feb. 5
, 6-7 pm
In Person - Feb. 7, 6-7 pm

Pre-Register and Get Updates

Walk-ups welcome!

Looking for part-time care?
Check out the
Ijams Nature Play Club


The Ijams Nature Preschool is an experiential, nature-based preschool for children ages 3-5* that combines:


  1. An outdoor classroom where students are given an opportunity to explore the natural world and learn environmental stewardship, and

  2. An indoor classroom where they are guided through traditional and child-centered academic lessons.

Through this unique combination of experiences, the Nature Preschool at Ijams Nature Center nurtures students’ social, emotional, and intellectual development and helps them learn valuable lessons about themselves and their world. 


Students must be 3 years old and fully potty-trained by their first day of school.


Spots fill quickly! Apply here.  Please contact Education Director, Jennie McGuigan with questions or for more information at +1865-577-4717 ext.1010 or

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Tuition is $9,000 for the school year. This constitutes a 40-week school year, and is billed quarterly. Hours are 9 am-3:30 pm Monday-Friday. Upon acceptance, a $1,000 payment is required to secure a child’s place in the Nature Preschool. The deposit is nonrefundable and nontransferable, and will be applied to the March tuition payment.


Tuition is billed quarterly on the following schedule:

Initial Deposit     $1,000
September         $2,250
November          $2,250
January              $2,250
March                 $1,250
TOTAL                $9,000


The Ijams Nature Preschool does not charge additional registration or activity fees; tuition is all-inclusive. Tuition assistance is available upon request and completion of the application. Apply here.  


The Ijams Nature Preschool aftercare program is offered from 3:30-5:30 pm Monday-Friday for families that need extended hours. The cost is $18/hour or $330/month.

“A lot of my friends find interest in the type of preschool Patrick is attending. He turned 5 in January and he has learned so much. He knows all the seasons of the year in order, the days of the week, months of the year, identifying continents on a world map, animal prints, and a plethora of other things in only two months of full-time nature play. Wild right? It’s child led, too, which is wonderful for their self-esteem.” -- Mom of an Ijams Nature Preschool Student

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