Start a nature-based school
We help early childhood educators start nature-based preschools, forest preschools, forest kindergartens, or other models of nature-based early childhood education businesses.
Services we offer for starting a school
Templates & worksheets
Business planning course
Individual & group coaching
Consulting services & support
Establishing a Nature-based Preschool
By Rachel A. Larimore
Nature-based preschools are powerful programs that fuse early childhood and environmental education to develop a child's lifelong connection with the natural world. With the number of this unique, cutting-edge program growing throughout the country, many nature centers are asking, “Is a nature-based preschool right for us?” Establishing a Nature-Based Preschool, written by Samara’s founder, helps answer that question and provides a how-to guide to move from concept to implementation.
Early childhood educators!
Discover the next step on your nature-based journey
Take this 90-second quiz to discover the opportunities you have to implement nature-based early childhood education.
You’ll receive a custom toolkit based on your strengths so you can start a thriving school where children learn with nature.
Free resources for starting a nature-based school
Evaluating Natureness: Measuring the Quality of Nature-based Classrooms in Pre-K through 3rd Grade
By Patti Ensel Bailie, Rachel A. Larimore*, & Arianna E. Pikus
This new book introduces the NAture-Based Education Rating Scales (NABERS) for Pre-K and K–3—a tool of measuring the quality of nature-based program. The book also includes tips and tricks for moving the needle towards quality. The tool addresses:
→ Program goals and curriculum practices
→ Community partnerships
→ Family engagement
Whether you want to evaluate an existing nature-based program or discover how to shift your program toward a nature focus, this book is for you!
*Rachel is Samara Early Learning’s Founder & Chief Visionary
"Before I felt like this idea of mine was a vague dream, but now I feel like I have concrete steps and an action plan. Wherever you are in your journey I highly recommend reaching out to them for support!"
— Ruta Miniotas, Brooklyn, NY
"The best investment Thorne Nature Preschool made was to work with Rachel Larimore to create a 5-year business plan for our school. "
—Erin Saunders, Thorne Nature Experience
"I feel much more prepared to move forward with moving my school from a leased space to my own space."
— Autumn Cancredi