We are grateful to St. Paul's Lutheran Church for allowing us to launch and remain within their space for 5 1/2 years. In August 2022, we were finally able to relocate to our "forever home" at 2416 Pickett Road, Durham NC 27705.
Wildflower Cottage is a full-time early childhood education program. We are open:
- Monday through Friday
- 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
- 12 months per year, excluding closings as listed on our Program Calendar
Some families occasionally opt to attend fewer days per week or fewer hours per day, but they are still reserving a full-time slot.
Wildflower Cottage has some extraordinary assets:
- Cozy, intimate setting (warm, natural light and bare feet most of the day!)
- Curriculum inspired by the philosophies of Reggio Emilia, Italy
- Natural play materials: wood, cotton, metals, nature collections, etc. (very little plastic)
- Nature-based curriculum and schedules, utilizing 3 acres of forest "magic" (trails, climbing, creek exploration, and bamboo forts)
- Neighborhood connections and friendships within our community
One of our strongest assets is smaller ratios, to encourage relationship-building and individual learning:
- Our toddler classroom has 12 children (1 - 2.5 years) and 3 full-time teachers.
- Our middler classroom has 14 children (2.5 - 3.5 years) and 3 full-time teachers.
- Our preschooler classroom has 20 children (3.5-5 years) and 3 full-time teachers.
Families provide a morning snack, lunch, and afternoon snack each day. Food should be ready-to-eat, in order to accommodate outdoor picnics. Children who participate in "nature school" often require larger quantities of food, due to the extra gross motor play, fresh air, and sunshine. Parents are able to provide healthy favorites in order to assure that their child is being adequately nourished.
We believe “There's no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing. (Alfred Wainwright)." We spent a majority of our time outdoors. This means that we must keep a stock of weather-appropriate clothing on-hand--layers and potentially even mud suits and snow suits! When we are in the forest, children may even do toileting in an easily supervised, somewhat private location. Campers in the making!
We are a 501 (c) 3, non-profit organization. We selected a non-profit status in order to be transparent to all stakeholders—donors, parents, and teachers. In this way, all can be assured that revenue and donations are going directly into the program’s improvement. This designation also allows the creation of a lasting, community-based school for generations to come.
We have discovered some helpful websites for parents. Wildflower Cottage does not maintain these websites, so we cannot be sure that all content is subject to our standards at all times. Please browse with care.
- American Academy of Pediatrics
- Healthy Children (American Academy of Pediatrics)
- Kids Health
- U.S. Department of Agriculture
- The Weight of the Nation: Children in Crisis Part One
- The Weight of the Nation: Children in Crisis Part Two
- The Weight of the Nation: Children in Crisis Part Three
- Consumer Product Safety Commission Recalls
Opportunities to Volunteer with Children
(Whether you have 5 minutes or 5 hours!)
- Volunteer Match (by city and keyword)
Information about Early Learning, Child Care, and Public Instruction
- Durham Public Schools-General
- North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development
- North Carolina Division of Child Development and Early Education
- North Carolina Department of Public Instruction
- North Carolina Infant-Toddler Program
- International Children's Digital Library (online children's books of all languages)