Early Childhood Education Programs

The Nature Preschool

The Nature Preschool at Irvine

Irvine Nature Center’s Nature Preschool offers children age three to five a supportive, safe learning environment that encourages discovery, experimentation and connection through play.

Our programs take place outdoors on Irvine’s 211-acre property and in our Montessori and Reggio-inspired classrooms. Our incredible environmental educators provide engaging activities including live animal encounters, trail hikes, art projects, games, songs, and stories. The Nature Preschool is designed to help your child develop cognitive and problem-solving skills, while cultivating social skills and building their confidence through nature play and exploration. Our programs are licensed by the Maryland State Department of Education and accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children.

We know that every family is unique, and each has its own schedules and needs. As a result, The Nature Preschool has both full day and part time classes to fit your family’s needs.


*Due to the on-going pandemic, we are currently planning to continue all recommended health and safety precautions until officials say it is safe to return to previous practices. We continue to limit class sizes to 13. We are also postponing the return of AfterCare until the 2022-23 school year due to the uncertainty.

Full days: 9:00am – 2:00pm

Monday, Wednesday, Friday
Tuesday, Thursday

* If MSDE rescinds its restriction on mixing groups and we have spots available, we will consider adding a 5 day full day option.

Mornings: 9:00am – noon

Monday, Wednesday, Friday
Tuesday, Thursday

*A Note About Enrollment

Classes for the 2021-22 school year are fully enrolled at this time. Any applications received for the upcoming school year will be put on the waitlist in the event a spot opens up. If your child does not turn 5 until after September 1, 2022, then your application will also be retained for the 2022-23 school year.

Families interested in the 2022-23 school year can apply now!


The Nature Preschool at Irvine Nature Center believes that all children have a right to learn and play through first-hand experiences in the natural world. Friends of The Nature Preschool agree and have donated generously to create the Woodpecker Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) to offset the cost of tuition and any extended day options for Baltimore families. This assistance is up to 40% of full tuition after the security deposit. Applications are accepted in-person and by post. Please contact Katie Rooney at RooneyK@ExploreNature.org or 443-738-9223 for more information.

What Families Are Saying

The Nature Preschool at Irvine is absolutely amazing! The science education offered is simply unparalleled! My daughter was lucky enough to have three years of Irvine’s loving, compassionate, inquiry-filled Nature Preschool. She’s learned letters, tree classifications, and all about ecological habitats and diversity, but more importantly she’s learned about compassion, friendship, empathy, and the importance of nature in all parts of her life and soul.

Rebecca Steiner, Parent of a 2019 Nature Preschool Alum

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