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At Nest Community School, we believe that children deserve educational environments that are as extraordinary as they are.  To be extraordinary, early learning programs do not need to follow any particular philosophy or curriculum.  Rather, what all high quality programs have in common is intentional, reflective teachers who possess a deep understanding of child development and have the knowledge and skills necessary to translate theory into practice.  


At the Nest, everything we do - from the design of our learning environment, to the activities and routines that make up the flow of our day, to our moment-by-moment interactions with children - is a reflection of our program philosophy, which is informed by neuroscience, child development theory and research. As such, our pedagogy is child-centered, relationship-based, play-based, developmentally appropriate, rooted in social constructivist theory, and inspired by various educational approaches. 

Guiding Principles

  1. Young children are curious, competent, and capable learners.  They are rich in potential, fluid in their ways of thinking and knowing, infinitely creative in their expression of ideas and feelings, and relentless in their pursuit of making sense of the world. 

  2. Secure relationships provide the foundation for learning. Children learn best when they are empowered by secure relationships with trusted adults. These relationships are built on mutual understanding and respect.

  3. Parents and teachers are partners. Strong connections between family, school, and community help children thrive. 

  4. Knowledge is actively co-constructed. Children need firsthand experiences that give them opportunities to observe, sense, feel, think, explore, and discover in collaboration with others.

  5. Play is learning and outdoor play is essential. Children need plenty of time for uninterrupted child-initiated outdoor play, which supports healthy whole child development. Fresh air, sunshine, and opportunities to be inspired by nature are good for the mind, body, and soul.

  6. Meaningful curriculum builds on children’s interests. Children's curiosities, questions, and ideas inform the design of engaging provocations and long-term investigations that spark joy and wonder, igniting a lifelong passion for learning.

References & Resources​

Books & Articles



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