A preschool experience completely outdoors
Introducing Alameda’s first forest-style preschool! Formed by a couple of preschool teachers looking to provide a play-based, nature-filled experience where children would go home filthy and exhausted from a busy day of exploration, play, negotiation, art, and social-emotional development, Neptune serves 2.5-5 year olds with a preschool program in local nature reserves and parks. Our name, Neptune, is a small homage to the original name of Alameda’s Crab Cove-Neptune Beach. We spend a great deal of time in this local nature reserve, engaging with local marine biology & coastal ecology. Why Nature school? Much of our format is modeled on the European, and emerging American forest school preschool models, spending 100% of our time outdoors.
We gather between 8 and 9 am, depending on individual needs for extended care, at our base "camp" for the day. Location is decided before the beginning of each week, and communicated to families via weekly email update, in order to support transportation arrangements. Our morning session is 9-1, including morning meeting, music and arts, craft and sensory, math and science activities, lunch, and exploring our environment. Children who stay 1-4 are offered rest for those who choose and extended exploration time for those who do not. 4 pm marks the end of our day. Pickup will be at base camp, the park where we spent our day. Extended care beyond that is available upon request, and at an additional charge.
School runs from September-May, beginning the day after Labor Day and ending Memorial Day weekend. Summer camp then runs June-August on a week to week basis and is open to participation from the greater community. Tuition for the school year is based on a monthly rate and includes all closures based on holidays and breaks. The school calendar clearly outlines these closures, and please note such closures keep your teachers paid and mentally healthy to continue the work you and your family so treasure.