Nature Preschool

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

The Nature Preschool at Ijams Nature Center

  • Knoxville’s ONLY full-time 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


Learn more and get a tour!


Conducted with your safety in mind!

Spaces are filling quickly! If you are unable to attend an open house, please contact Nature Preschool Administrator Leslee Moore at (865) 679-5491 or if you have questions or would like to schedule an in person or zoom tour at your earliest convenience.


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.     


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


The Nature Preschool at Ijams Nature Center does not charge additional registration or activity fees; tuition is all-inclusive. Tuition assistance is available; just ask. 


The 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.


Aug. 10                   First Day of School
Sept. 7                    Labor Day Holiday
Oct. 12-16              Fall Break
Nov. 25-27             Thanksgiving Holiday
Dec. 21-Jan. 1       Winter Break
Jan. 4                     Classes Resume
Jan. 18                   Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday
Feb. 15                   Presidents’ Day
March 15-19          Spring Break

April 2-5                 Easter Holiday
May 25                   Last Day of School


Hours: 9 am-3:30 pm (Monday–Friday)

Students must be fully potty-trained and be 3 years of age by Aug. 10, 2020, in order to be eligible for the Nature Preschool)

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