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Apple Blossom Beginnings

SE Main St
Portland, OR 97214

(503) 235-5685


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We are located in inner NE in the beautiful Sullivan's Gulch neighborhood.

We strive to follow & embrace Waldorf & RIE methods. We are a media free space with only Mother Nature as our greatest source of inspiration and your child's natural curiosity. Your child will be surrounded by natural beauty, gentle hands, warm hearts and soothing daily rhythm. We will sing, play, and explore each day. The surroundings are soothing with natural toys like, silks, wooden toys, felted animals, and home made toys. We will bake, clean, garden and play our day away! I have opened one of the first "Waldorf" inspired Infant and toddler care homes in Portland, Oregon. We have been in business for over 4 years now!

Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based, Waldorf

From the Director:

We will go outside each day in all weather. We also enjoy daily walks in our peaceful neighborhood. We believe it is so important for children to enjoy the outdoors & fresh air everyday. There is room for four infants ages five months to 14 months old. The rest of the children will be 15 months-old to age four. I take about 14 children (16 children max) a day with four to five care givers. Hours of operation are 8:00-5:00, M-F Our max staff to child ratio is 4/1. Usually it is 3/1. We place children in "auntie" groups of four children ranging in age from infant to toddler, much like a family would be. We find it is much better for the children to be in a group of different ages so each child may learn from the other. * We are an eco-friendly childcare and use no pesticides, harmful, chemicals or cleaners. The rate is $66 a day Throughout the year we plan many events for all the families to enjoy, including farm trips, potlucks, park time and toy making. There will be daily notes sent in a notebook you will provide, about your child's day. We will offer parenting classes as well. This is much more than just a day care. Everyone brings their own diapers, Lunch & 2 snacks for this location

Curriculum & Teaching Approach

Learning Philosophy & Tools

  Play- based mostly teacher led not formally in curriculum conducive environment
Oral language  
Nursery rhymes, poems, songs  
Storybook reading  
Emerging literacy skills  
Cognitive development
Math & number sense
Time & space
Sci. reasoning/physical world
Visual arts
Physical activity
Other subjects taught RIE: *Basic trust in the child to be an initiator, an explorer and a self learner. *An environment for the child that is physically safe, cognitively challenging and emotionally nurturing *Time for uninterrupted play. *Freedom to explore and interact with other infants. Involvement of the child in all care activities to allow the child to become an active participant rather than a passive recipient. *Sensitive observation of the child in order to understand his/her needs. *Consistency, clearly defined limits and expectations to develop discipline.

From the Director:

1. Children thrive in the presence of devoted caregivers who enjoy life and caring for children. This is the foundation for learning and healthy development. Young children learn primarily through imitation/empathy and, therefore, need to be cared for by people with integrity and warmth who are worthy of being imitated. 2. Having consistent caregivers (over several years) is essential for young children, especially from birth to three years old and, preferably, up to primary school age. 3. In infancy and early childhood, daily life experience is the "curriculum." The child's relationships to the caregiver and to the environment are the two most important aspects through which the child can experience healthy life rhythms/ routines. These include rest and play, regular meal times, exploring nature, practical/domestic activities, social creativity, music and simple artistic activities. 4. Childhood is a valid and authentic time unto itself and not just a preparation for schooling. 5. Infants & toddlers develop most healthily when allowed to have freedom of movement in a safe environment. 6. Children need relationships to people of all ages and can both give and receive special blessing when in the company of elders and youth who enjoy children. Infants and toddlers thrive in family-style blended-age care. 7. Young children thrive in a home-like environment that offers beauty, comfort and security. Healthy sense development is fostered when most of their clothing and playthings are of non-synthetic materials and their toys allow for open-ended, imaginative play. 8. Caregivers need an environment where they can create an atmosphere of "home", where they can build true relationships with the children in their care, and where they can feel autonomous and appreciated. 9. Each child carries an intrinsic value and is gifted with purpose. No child is an "accident". 10. Caregivers also have an intrinsic purpose and need to be recognized and appropriately compensated for the value of their work which lays the foundation of life-long learning for children in their care. 11. Human relationship, rather than technology, is the essential tool for teaching the young child all foundational skills for life. 12. Parents of young children thrive in a care setting where they are loved, respected, and helped to feel love and understanding for their children. Please email me to schedule a tour of our unique & beautiful program.

Day in the Life

A Typical Day

8:00am to 9:45 – Morning open play and Art

9:00am to 9:30 – Morning diaper changes and potty shop

9:45am to 10:00 – Circle Time

10:00am to 10:30 – Hand washing and Morning snack

10:30am to 10:50 – Prepare for morning outside time/walk

10:50am to 11:45 – Morning walk or outside play time
11:45am to 12:00 – Diaper changes and potty shop

12:00pm to 12:30 – Lunch time

12:30pm to 12:50 – Story Time

12:50pm to 3:00 – Nap time

°As children wake they have diaper changes or potty shop°

3:00pm to 3:30 – Hand washing and afternoon snack

3:30pm to 5:00 – Afternoon snack, open play or outside time

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

We have daily communication books with daily activities, staff on hand, any other notes. Parents also use this book to communicate with us.
Yahoo group just for our school
posted announcements & sign up sheets

Parents Say They are Encouraged to:

  • Hold social events at the school to build community
  • Fundraise
  • Are able to visit the school anytime we want
  • Go on field trips
  • Volunteer in the classroom
  • Receive newsletters

Modes of Communication

  • Notes
  • Phone Calls
  • Voice Mail
  • Email
  • Special Meetings
  • Drop-Off
  • Pick-Up


Separation is Handled through:

  • Home visits by teachers
  • Pre-entry meetings with parents at school
  • Extra staff dedicated to handle separation
  • Abbreviated schedule at start of school year

Handling Separation: From the Director

To ease your child into our program, try:
• Start your morning off as gentle as you can. Singing your child awake if your child has not woken up yet on his/her own is a nice way to greet the day. Getting up an extra 10 minutes is a good way to make sure your morning is not rushed. We all know you have a lot to do each morning to get out the door, but we really notice a difference with your child at school if their morning has been rushed.
• Start your “good byes” as you pull up. Tell your child matter in a non emotional tone
“Here we are at Apple Blossom. We will take off your shoes & coat, wash your hands then mama will hand you to Miss Marcie. I will go home then (or work, say where you will be) & I will come back to get you after work. I love you. Good bye” Then follow through with your plan.( Please do not ask your child questions or tell them about what they will be doing when you walk in)!. If you must say something, hum a song to comfort them or just quietly do what you need to do. Often if a child is having a hard time it usually is because a child can pick up on a parents emotional energy. If you fear your child will cry, or be upset when you leave, your child will most likely pick up on this & fulfill your worries & projections.

You must trust your care giver 100% & know your child is in great hands & say this in the car. “Auntie___ will be there to love you & read to you. Mommy knows she cares about you & Apple Blossom is a safe and good place” these words help a child weave a blanket of trust in their lives & will serve them well in the future.
• Never walk in (after hand washing) holding your child into other rooms & stay for any length of time. This is what your play dates were for. It is hard on your child the longer you stay & it is also hard on the other children to see a child upset clinging on their parent. Often they might start crying seeing another mama in the home holding their child & want their own mom. Please just hand your child (even if they are crying & clinging) & say “I know you will be okay. I love you. Good bye” & walk straight out that door. Staff will call you if your child is ever truly having a hard time. Remember, they have all had years of experience helping with these transitions & are very confident.
• Planning the night before what your child will wear is another huge help in getting your child ready on time. Letting your child pick out their own clothes is not a good idea over all. It is fine if you have all the time in the world & it really doesn’t matter what they wear. At school/daycare, it really matters what they wear.
* Please, no overalls, it’s too hard for potty training & diaper changes
* Please dress children in warm clothes for the fall & winter. No spring dresses & short selves unless they are wearing layers. No bodysuits as well as it is very hard to make it to the bathroom & is stressful for the child. If your child must choose, please remember to give them only 2 choices (something you want them to wear anyway is a good idea). We want to give the children in our lives the warmth & comfort of being taken care of by us adults, & when we give them too many choices, it puts unnecessary stress on the child, sometimes causing anxiety. The fewer the questions we put to our children, the better.
Clothes that can get dirty (they will) & with elastic waist band are best for potty training children & easier for the teachers to change diapers.
I hope this helps!
~Miss Carrie