Hartley Nature Preschool’s mission is to inspire life-long connections with nature through education, play, and exploration while supporting the whole child’s development and preparing children for school.
HNP is a preschool program that:
- Serves 3-5 year old children*
- Emphasizes learning through playing outdoors
- Supports the development of the whole child
- Provides children with the chance to develop a lifelong connection with nature
- Helps children prepare for kindergarten
- Offers options for 2 or 3 mornings or afternoons a week and 2 full days a week
- Offers a Tues/Thurs AM class just for three and young four year olds!
- Operates September-May
- Is licensed by the MN Department of Human Services as a child care center
*Children must be three years old by September 1st and fully toilet-trained to attend preschool
Hartley Nature Preschool (HNP) is located at Hartley Nature Center in Duluth, MN.
The preschool classrooms, full of lovely natural light and age-appropriate furnishings and materials, are located in the nature center. The nature playscape (natural playground) is located just out the backdoor of the nature center. The preschool also uses the 660 acres of city-owned Hartley Park for learning and play!
What is a nature preschool?
A nature preschool is a:
- Licensed child-care facility
Where the emphasis is on:
- Going outside daily in all (safe) weather
- Learning through play and nature play
- Child-directed, adult-supported activities
- Seasonal, place-based curriculum
- Whole-child development
Information from Green Hearts, Inc.
Information Sessions and Tours
You are welcome to come see Hartley Nature Preschool in action as you decide if this is the right fit for your family and your child! We host monthly Information Sessions for prospective families to come and see the preschool. Learn more and find dates here.
HNP is a 3 star Parent Aware rated program!
Parent Aware is Minnesota’s voluntary rating system for early childhood programs, including those in centers, homes, schools, and churches. Programs that participate in the Parent Aware rating program at any star level are going above and beyond the basic licensing requirements by taking additional trainings and developing curriculum and family support systems that research shows lead to children’s success in future schooling. Higher levels of rating also mean more state and county scholarship support is available to help each family pay for preschool. Hartley intentionally went for a 3 star rating (instead of a 4 star rating) in the last round of ratings because grant funding is available for 3 star programs to purchase program materials, but no funding is availablae for 4 star programs. Learn more about what the star levels mean: http://parentaware.org/learn/stars-defined/