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Fairy Forest Logo
Fairy Wing
Fairy Wing
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Fairy Forest is a child-led, nature-based early-learning environment serving children ages 3-5. Our sanctuary is located at 4 Bonfire Drive in Saco, Maine. 

At Fairy Forest we recognize that play is the primary medium through which young children learn. We seek to construct unique play experiences that further children's interests and connect them to their environment. 

Leaf Motif
Leaf Motif
Leaf Motif

Our indoor classrooms are spacious yurts complete with insulation, heat, AC, plumbing, and all the amenities you'd expect in a modern classroom. These unique buildings allow children to feel fully enmeshed in their environment even when they are inside. Natural light pours in from a domed skylight and nature beckons on all sides through wrap-around windows. 

These yurts are certified by licensed engineers to be able to withstand massive snow loads and sustained wind speeds of 115 mph.

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Click here to learn more more about our yurts. 

Our Philosophy

Giving children agency over their schedule, over their bodies, over their intellectual pursuits, is a crucial component of developing a healthy brain capable of deep learning and comprehension. Our staff members are primarily listeners, curators, and trusted friends to the children. We will follow the children wherever their curiosity leads them and scaffold play experiences to allow them to dive deep into their interests. 

Fairy Forest understands and respects that all children learn in different ways, at their own pace, and in their own time. There are many well-respected tried, tested, and true pedagogies that we draw inspiration from including the Cedarsong Way, the Reggio-Emilia methodology, the Waldorf school, and Montessori method. At Fairy Forest we strive to put our individual students at the center of the curriculum and adopt the learning strategies that work best for them. Staff undergo dozens of hours of documented training per year to make this a reality. 

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Supporting All Families

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Families are the cornerstone of a child's life, parents and guardians are children's first teachers. At Fairy Forest we celebrate all families, no matter how many parents a child has or what gender or sexuality family members are or aren't. Our values drive us to create a safer space for gender expansive children and their supportive families. We are a proudly queer owned-and-operated business.

Play-Based Learning

Play is a gift that allows children to authentically engage with their interests and construct knowledge in real time. As teachers it is our privilege to create a sanctuary for childhood where play is celebrated and learning happens naturally.

Immersion in Nature

It is our goal to help shape a generation which respects the environment and feels connected to the natural world. We believe that allowing young children the opportunity to freely explore and play in the forest will help to facilitate a long-enduring connection with our planet. 

Risk Taking

Mindfully engaging with risk is an extremely important component of early learning. That’s why we let children climb on logs, build with sticks, run on leaves and roots, and climb trees. When children have the opportunity to engage with and master activities like these it builds their confidence both physically and mentally.

Place-Based Education

Being moored in a community and feeling comfortable and accepted in the place we live is a powerful salve for anxiety, a starting point for environmental awareness and activism, and an important part of building the roots that bind us to friends, family, and the earth. 

Emergent Curriculum

Our curriculum flows naturally from our students’ interests and curiosities. When children's interests are honored it breeds a love for learning and shows children that their ideas matter. Our job as teachers is to provide children with the experiences and tools to allow them to further explore their interests.

Small Class Size

Children need to have the freedom to explore at their own pace, to complete the work that is important to them, and have the autonomy to be able to address their own needs. Having a high teacher to student ratio allows children to have the time and guidance they need to facilitate this freedom. 

We highly recommend Teacher Josh as an early-childhood educator. He has been a true blessing for our family. Josh has a natural talent for working with children, and his positive energy is contagious. He has a wonderful way of connecting with the kids and making them feel at ease. Our youngest child can be a handful at times, but Josh is always patient and attentive. He has a knack for anticipating children’s needs and ensuring that they are well taken care of. I have complete peace of mind when I leave our children in his care. Josh truly goes above and beyond to create a safe and nurturing environment for the kids. Thank you, Josh, for all that you do!

The Quinlan Family

We are currently full for our winter, spring, and summer 2024 terms. However, we are accepting inquiries for our September 2024 term. Please fill out the form below to schedule a phone call with our director.
How many days do you need care?

Thanks for your interest, expect an email shortly!

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