A Child's Garden of Thyme

About our Playschool/Preschool Program

Experience the joy of home-based, mixed-age childcare. We offer a unique, relationship- based childcare. Children thrive in the warm, “home away from home” atmosphere of A Child's Garden of Thyme. Mixed-age, family-style groupings support the relationship-based care children need — with one another, with family and community, and with the same care providers year after year. Life is the curriculum for young children, including the social, domestic and nurturing arts. Creativity is fostered through imaginative play, music, movement, games, and artistic activities. A strong connection with nature, natural toys and whole foods rounds out the experiences that rhythmically support children’s optimal development.

Click for information on the Waldorf Preschool

Why Mixed Ages?

Childcare “family suites” consist of groups of children who stay together with the same caregivers over a several-year period. Bonding to adults who provide consistent, nurturing care during the years of early childhood is tantamount to the development of healthy relationships in youth and adulthood. Brain research indicates that “the architecture of the brain depends on a series of critical but subtle emotional transactions between an infant and a devoted caregiver...clearly formulating the elusive building blocks of creative and analytic thinking, and the sense of self” (Dr. Stanley Greenspan).

Childcare homes can easily provide a “family” grouping with children of various ages. An emphasis can be placed on the learning that is cultivated through mixed-age groupings. The younger ones learn basic self-care and social skills from observing the older children, and the older ones learn basic nurturing skills by observing the caregivers tend to the little ones. Another benefit of having mixed ages is that the ratio of children to care providers enables more of a family feeling. The caregiver/teacher is able to meet the special needs of each age group.

About our Infant/Toddler Daycare Program

Infants, especially, need a loving connection to another primary caregiver when they are away from their parents. The infant-parent bond is unique and is not diminished by the bonds a child forms with other caregivers. The time infants spend away from their parents serves them best when a knowledgeable and loving caregiver is responsive to their many nuances of communication and can interact with them with genuine warmth and enthusiasm. Continuity of caregivers provides the best foundation for children’s healthy emotional and intellectual development.

About our Programs for Adults

Parents and ACGT caregivers are partners in trying to provide what is best for each child. The caregiver can be instrumental in helping parents to recognize the developmental needs of the child and how to practice domestic and nurturing arts, while also learning from and respecting the parents’ insights into the specific needs of their child. An initial or annual visit to a child’s home can provide valuable insights into each child’s unique needs and forge invaluable links between home and the care provider.