Learn More About How Our School is Unique

Our center is licensed by the state of Virginia and accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children. The center operates Monday through Friday, from 7:30am to 6:00pm. Children are placed into classrooms based on their developmental needs and age. Our center consists of three large classrooms, two outdoor play areas, children’s and adult’s bathrooms, an office, a lounge, and a small staff kitchen.

Explore Our Space with a Digital Tour

Raindrop Room - Infants
0 - Raindrop Room
  • Infants (ages 6 weeks to 12-18 months): 4 teachers care for up to 12 children
  • Infants are whole people from birth. They deserve to be honored and supported as learners and individuals.
  • Emotional intelligence starts now, which means emotion coaching starts in the infant room.
  • Respect in the infant classroom means we talk before we touch, move slowly, and connect to solicit cooperation.
  • The biggest challenge of infancy is learning to move. We believe in natural and unrushed gross motor development
Firefly Room - Toddlers
Early educator
  • Toddlers (ages 12 months to 24 -30 months): 4 teachers care for up to 16 children
  • Toddlers are rapidly becoming increasingly social. They need support and coaching to build social connections.
  • Toddlers are beginning to develop their independence. To feel safe, they need a secure attachment with a trusted adult that is patient. This adult is nearby as they build skills, and available when they need help. Toddlers are given space, time, and coaching rather than pushing or cajoling independence.
  • In the toddler room, we continue to talk intentionally with the children, and we delight in their budding language development.
Stepping Stones Room - Twos
2 Stepping Stones Room
  • Twos (ages 24 months to 36 - 45 months): 3-4 teachers care for up to 15-20 children
  • Two year olds are unique beings, largely still toddlers and yet very much budding preschoolers. They need the security of a trusted caregiver and effective coaching to grow their minds.
  • In the twos room, we continue to support children’s developing emotional intelligence and social skills through intentional coaching without rewards or punishments.
  • As children graduate at age three, their brains have developed a deep knowledge of themselves and a diversity of experiences in the word. Children’s brains establish secure superhighways from which deeper and more specific knowledge will grow.
Front Yard Play Space
4 Front YArd 2
  • The outdoor environment is a crucial part of children’s learning space. We go outside every day including the young infants.
  • The front yard is mostly a big grass space where young children test their balance on new surfaces and a tricky hill.
  • Our front yard mud space offers year round exploration and creation.
  • During the summer months the front yard is a perfect space for regular water play.
Backyard Play Space
5 Back Yard
  • Both outdoor spaces have edible gardens for watering, planning, picking, and eating.
  • The backyard has a 15 foot square sandbox, a large deck, and trikes.
  • There is an upper space in the backyard where children can explore more edible plants and see the world from another perspective.
  • Each day children (and teachers) brave the weather knowing that getting outside supports healthy sleep, strong bodies, and resilience.

Continuity of Care

Our Neighborhood practices continuity of care which is a system of keeping children and teachers together for their first three years. Continuity of care is backed by child development research. We know it is best for children to build a secure attachment with their caregivers so they can feel safe to explore and learn.

Our Neighborhood values children’s development of secure relationships. We work to support children to build secure attachment, and whenever possible try to keep young children with their teachers and friends. Children are kept together as a group to support their classmate relationships, and a teacher is kept with the group to ease the transition and support the teachers’ relationship with the children.

If you've explored our philosophy and inspiration, you've probably already learned a lot of about learning through play. Explore our philosophy for teaching and learning.

Holacracy and Power with Leadership

holacracy - teachers work on building provocations for infants and toddlers

In the Summer of 2016, as Our Neighborhood approached it’s fifth birthday, we adopted a new organizational and governance structure. Jenn, as the founder of the business, signed the Holacracy constitution formally ceding her power into the constitutional structure. 

We chose Holacracy because it promoted a power-with instead of power-over structure.

Just as we reject a power-over reward-punishment structure with children, we believe adults too deserve to thrive in a working-with approach.

If you’re skeptical, that is good. Holacracy is not a perfect fix, but it is significantly better than the old hierarchical system of management and power.

Paperwork

Below is some helpful information and resources for new and existing families. Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions about the documents.

You don't have to do this alone.

We know that parenting and teaching is challenging work. Part of the Our Neighborhood purpose is creating a space for a learning community. All caregivers are welcome to learn with us. Together we can transform the world for the next generation.