Licensed Preschool in Fox River Grove, IL


Welcome!  Here are the Basics of The Little Garden School for 2018-2019:


  • Children ages 2 to 6 years
  • Families looking for quality early education in a cozy, home-like environment surrounded by a beautiful forest and gardens.
  • Parents who believe that play, exploration and loving care are the most important components in early childhood education.

Hours and Schedule for 2018-2019:

  • Open 8:00am – 11:30am Monday through Fridays, from September through May. See our calendar.
  • Choose the days that work best for your family – from one to five days a week.


  • Preschool for children ages 2-5. We believe that children thrive in mixed-age settings where they can simultaneously be leaders to the younger children and learn from the older children.
  • We accept up to 12 children at a time, with 2 teachers.
  • We are a play-based school and design our curriculum around the interests of the children. We take inspiration from nature, literature, current events and the passions of our students and teachers.
  • We spend lots of time outdoors in all seasons in our sandbox, riding tricycles, swinging, sliding, walking, splashing and exploring our forest and gardens.
  • Fridays are Forest Days – we will have most (to all) of our school time outside in the forest or garden, connecting with nature and having a great time.
  • We do not use worksheets or follow a purchased curriculum; we use our knowledge as educators to incorporate a strong literacy and math base, scientific inquiry and social skills into the activities that spark interest in our students.
  • Example:
    • This Fall we watched chipmunks and squirrels running back and forth across our garden gathering nuts. The kids wondered what they were doing and where they were going. We explored the yard and forest behind the school to look for their dens and nests. We read about the similarities and differences between chipmunks and squirrels and learned about hibernation and how different animals deal with changing weather. We talked about how we deal with cold weather and practiced zipping and buttoning our own snow gear. The kids used our collection of animal dress-ups and played pretend in our hibernation cave. We wrote and dictated stories about Winter animals and learned the sounds that S, C and Ch make.  As the snow started to fall, we noticed that the animals had disappeared and we made guesses as to where they might be hibernating.  The children showed great interest in all of this because it was built around a question they had asked and it dealt with tangible, real animals and objects in their environment. We feel that this is true, authentic learning, and we prefer it to a boxed curriculum that dictates a theme or letter of the week that the children may or may not identify with. What questions can we ask today? What problems can we solve? What is on your mind? Sure, it makes planning a curriculum harder, but that challenge is what we LOVE about teaching here at The Little Garden School. What does your child love? Trains? Ponies? Mermaids? Wheels? Baseball? Let’s explore together.


  • 1 day a week costs $80/month
  • 2 days a week costs $160/month
  • 3 days a week costs $240 a month
  • 4 days a week costs $320 a month
  • 5 days a week costs $400 a month
  • TLGS is committed to making quality child care affordable for everyone and will work with parents to accept in-kind payment (volunteering), CCAP and other IL subsidies.
  • We provide low or no-cost preschool for Safe Families for Children and children in foster care.
  • If you are in a position to pay generously, you will help to cover the gap for families who are struggling to make ends meet.  This is a community – everyone can pitch in in some way.


  • You may register your family by filling out paperwork and making a nonrefundable $50 deposit.

E-mail: or call 224.357.4158 for more information

Welcome Turtles!


On June 15, 2016 a mother painted turtle climbed out of the water and laid eggs in the soft dirt next to Ms Helen’s parents’ pond.


After she was finished, Ms Helen’s parents carefully fenced around the nest to protect the eggs from other animals, and then they waited…


Today, August 28, 2016, we decided to dig up the nest to see if the eggs had hatched because the dirt had become hard and we were afraid the baby turtles might not be able to dig out. (Pumpkin the cat thought he might be able to help).


Guess what? There WERE turtles under the dirt waiting to be freed!




13 beautiful painted turtle babies. Here is a video of us digging them out.  You can tell we were VERY excited!  We released most of them into the pond where we left them happily swimming around.  We decided to bring a few of them back to The Little Garden School to show to our students…they will be waiting for you on the first day of school!



Welcome!  We invite you to join us as we embark on the adventure of opening The Little Garden School.  It is our dream to create a space where families can come together in community and share in the enjoyment and enrichment of their children’s early years.  Information on classes is available in the tabs above.