Admissions & Classes

As of August, 2020 we shifted to a completely OUTDOOR program and changed admission age requirements and class structure to support the children in the best possible way. For the 2021-2022 year, we anticipate our plans to go back to using indoor classrooms for a small percentage of the time most days.  The program will be at least 60% outdoor for the coming school year.

Regarding a child starting preschool and in our view always, the primary criterion of eligibility is the child’s emotional readiness to be separated from his/her parents.

Please note that we no longer accept children younger than two years of age (as of September, each year).

Our Classes for 2021-2022 

All admissions information from this point on, including class age requirements and class cohort groupings is updated for the 2021-2022 year.

TCG’s program incorporates living arts education, indoor and outdoor programming, with a nature-based curriculum. Mornings begin outside with drop-off and end outside for parent pick-up. At least 60% of the time, our children are outside. We use our play yard, expanded outdoor space and Grant Park in our program. All children are required to have seasonal outdoor gear with a personal supply list provided by the school. Please see age names and groupings below for 2021-2022:


  • Children must be already 2 years of age or turning 2 during the month September, 2021.
  • Children may be in diapers or progressing with their pottying to be in this group.
  • Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday mornings each week, 9:15am to 12:45pm
  • Child-teacher ratio is 5:1 (maximum)

2. THREE YEAR-OLDS (Robins) combined with FOUR & FIVE YEAR-OLDS (Owls)

  • Children must be 3 years of age or older by August 31, 2021 to meet the minimum age requirement for the mixed-age class.
  • This mixed-age class is mostly made up of Three’s (Robins) & Pre-K (Owls) age children.  However, Kindergarteners whose parents wish for their 5 year old to stay an extra year are welcome to be part of the Owl group.  The school has welcomed five year olds to the mixed-age class for many years. 
  • Children need to be able to initiate their own toileting needs (please remember – this group is outdoors at least half the week, so outdoor potty use with autonomy as much as possible, is an expectation).
  • Monday-Friday mornings each week, 8:55am to 1pm
  • Child-teacher ratio is 7:1 (maximum)

Admission to The Children’s Garden Preschool is open to children regardless of race, creed, color or national origin.

All placement decisions for admissions are determined by The Children’s Garden teaching staff based on a child’s age and development, previous preschool experience and personality. When forming our classes, careful thought is given to the class make-up as a whole, striving for a healthy balance of gender, age and temperaments.

Child Personal Supply List for the Year (required each year – this is the 2020-2021 list)