The Little Garden School offers quality Early Childhood programs to families in Fox River Grove, Barrington and the surrounding area in a cozy, natural environment. 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.  The Little Garden School is a DCFS Licensed Child Care Program.


The school is open Monday through Friday. Each class is limited to 12 children, ages 2 and over, with at least 2 teachers present at all times. Our days are filled with outdoor free play, interspersed with art, music, snack and always lots of exploration and discoveries. Our children spend an extended amount of time outside in nature discovering, hiking, playing, digging, climbing, using tools, developing social skills, building confidence and so much more.


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Helen Handley, The Little Garden School’s Director and Lead Teacher, lives with her husband and three children in Fox River Grove, Illinois. She earned her Bachelors Degree in Elementary Education at Luther College and has completed graduate work in Early Childhood Education at Concordia University Chicago and National Louis University. After teaching Kindergarten in Chicago for 5 years, she moved out to the Northwest Suburbs where she worked as a preschool teacher before founding The Little Garden School in 2015.  She loves free play, messy art projects, frogs, music, sewing, gardening, and sharing those passions with children.