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Forest Preschool

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F orest Preschool is an exploratory, nature and play-based program with an indoor classroom that empowers children to be active in their own learning while connecting to one another and the natural world.

Our program supports the development of the whole child, sparks curiosity and a sense of wonder, and instills a love of learning and connection to place. At the end of each day, parents and caregivers are met by children who have been making sense of their world by delightfully following their curiosity in natural spaces using eager hands, wide eyes, and listening ears.

We are Vermont’s first licensed Forest Preschool embedded in a nature center. Our program qualifies for Vermont’s Act 166 Universal Pre-kindergarten tuition. NBNC's Forest Preschool is a 4-star program with Vermont STARS.

NBNC Forest Preschool

Forest Preschool Registration

Please read our "Waitlist, Application, & Registration Process" below before joining the waitlist.

Interested in your child attending Forest Preschool? The waitlist for 2023-2024 is full. Please use the buttons below to join the waitlists for 2024 and beyond. Please contact us with any questions.

Forest Preschool is for students between 3 and 6 years old.

Forest Preschool Hours:

8:45-3:45 Monday - Friday
Aftercare runs until 5:30 daily

More Info (click each item to expand)

2024-2025 Tuition:

More Details about Forest Preschool 2024-2025 Tuition Rates

Our Forest Preschool qualifies for Act 166 Universal Pre-K funding.
Other financial support may be available.

Your initial $350 deposit is non-refundable after May 1st. This is a security deposit that will be held in case of withdrawal from the program, and will be applied towards the final installment(s) of the FPS tuition at the end of the school year.

If you choose to withdraw your child from this program, you must notify us in writing of your intent to withdraw at least 30 days prior to your intended withdrawal date. You will be responsible for up to 2 full months of tuition following this withdrawal date, or until your child’s space is filled from our wait list (whichever comes first). Your $350 deposit will be applied towards any tuition owed post-withdrawal. We will do our best to promptly fill your child’s space in our program and provide a partial refund, but this cannot be guaranteed.

Please note that it is very difficult for us to accommodate requests to change days.  Withdrawals resulting from requests that cannot be accommodated will be treated as any other withdrawal from the program.

COVID-19 Cancellations: NBNC aims to be as safe and flexible as possible in navigating the continuing pandemic. In the event that NBNC Forest Preschool needs to suspend the school year as a result of COVID-19, NBNC will revise our tuition policies based on the circumstances at the time. Brief closures related to staff or student health and safety may or may not affect tuition.

  • We are glad you are interested in NBNC’s Forest Preschool! Our program is in high demand, and we want to make it clear that we have very few openings each year. We prioritize returning students, siblings, and staff children, then we fill the remaining spaces from our waitlist on a first-come-first-served basis. 
  • We maintain waitlists for each school year, and you can join the waitlist for multiple years. We charge a fee of $50 for managing your waitlist spot(s). If you are interested in more than one year, you will need to complete a separate application for each year, but you will only be charged one application fee. We may close or pause the waitlist for a given year if the list gets too long.  
  • We will update you once a year via email, typically in November, with  your waitlist position for the upcoming school years and to confirm that you’d like to stay on the waitlist. This notification will require your response.
  • In January, if there is an open spot for your child the following school year, we will reach out for a family conversation and invite you for a visit. If we feel your child would be a good fit for Forest Preschool, we will invite you to register.


NBNC's Forest Preschool is a 4-star certified program with Vermont STARS.

"“By the age of five, I believed I was a child born of sun-lit Earth and deep blue sky.
When I looked at my skin, I saw the color of dry land in Southern California and the Southwest.
And when I looked at my veins, it seemed that sky flowed in them. I believed I was made of sky and of land.
That was what anchored the child-me.”
— Lauret Savoy

North Branch Nature Center

713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602
(802) 229-6206

Hours: Center Open Monday-Friday 9-4
Trails Open 24/7