Little Coyotes Forest Kinder

Now enrolling for our NEW land-based all-outdoor forest kinder programs for ages 4-6* in Davis and Sacramento!

Register by May 15th to take advantage of the Early Coyotes discount ~ use coupon code EARLYCOYOTES to get 5% tuition reduction!

*3-year-olds will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Please inquire!

We are thrilled to introduce you to our early childhood program, Little Coyotes Forest Kinder. This is a land-based program for ages 4-6 (with 3-year-olds being considere on a case-by-case basis) that meets outdoors in nature year-round, rain or shine, with locations in both Davis (South Fork Preserve) and Sacramento (William B. Pond area).

Our intention for the new kinder program is to create a nurturing and gentle transition for children who are taking their first steps beyond the familiar comforts of home. We aim to provide a supportive environment where they can begin to explore and engage with the natural world around them, fostering a sense of curiosity, independence, and confidence in their early learning journey.

Our educational approach revolves around fostering a deep connection between children and the natural world. Throughout the day, our Forest Mentors and children will engage in collaborative learning experiences that are rooted in our local environment. We believe deeply in a child-led approach to education, one that meets children where they are in their development and comfort zones and then allows them to bloom and grow through their connection with nature. There will be a lot of playing, exploration, and singing. We have a seasonal curriculum, a collection of activities, books, and crafts that support social-emotional literacy, creative expression, and critical thinking skills.

Cohort size for each location will be 10-12 children. Our Lead Forest Mentor for each location will have a background in both early childhood and outdoor education.

If you have any questions about our kinder program, please reach out to Candice, our Program Director. 

Schedule & Tuition

Little Coyotes Forest Kinder runs from September 4th, 2024 to June 12th, 2025.

Enrollment is customizable to your schedule and your budget, with 5, 3, and 2-day attendance options. See tuition details below.

Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays run from 9 am to 2 pm, with flexible drop-off and pick-up windows from 8:30 – 9 am and 2 – 2:30 pm. Wednesdays run from 9 am to 1 pm, with flexible drop-off and pick-up windows from 8:30 – 9 am and 1 – 1:30 pm.

A $300 deposit must be paid at the time of registration (this is non-refundable, but is included in the overall tuition cost). If you choose the payment plan option, you will be charged in 10 equal monthly installments starting 8/1/24 and ending 5/1/25. There is also a $300 supply fee charged at the time of registration, bringing the total due at the time of registration to $600.

5 days/week

Monday – Friday

$11,500 $10,925* yearly tuition – pay in full or with a monthly payment plan (at no extra cost)

*with EARLYCOYOTES discount by 5/15!

3 days/week

Monday/Wednesday/Friday

$7,200 $6,840* yearly tuition – pay in full or with a monthly payment plan (at no extra cost)

*with EARLYCOYOTES discount by 5/15!

2 days/week

Tuesday/Thursday

$4,800 $4,650* yearly tuition – pay in full or with a monthly payment plan (at no extra cost)

*with EARLYCOYOTES discount by 5/15!

Important note for families of 6-year-olds

Because school is mandated at age 6 in the state of California, any 6-year-olds enrolled in this program must be considered homeschoolers, as we are legally an enrichment program and not an accredited school. If your child is signed up with a homeschool charter, you may be able to use charter funds to pay for tuition.

Reparations & Tuition Assistance

At this point, we are able to offer tuition assistance of up to 25% off to two families per location. Assistance will be awarded on a rolling basis (please contact us in advance to apply!), with preference given to families registering for the 5 days/week schedule.

For Black and Indigenous families, we invite you to make use of the Reparations rate, which for this program automatically gives you a 10% descount, regardless of financial need. You will find the reparations code in the session description on the registration site.

Cancelations & Refunds

The initial deposit of $300 is non-refundable (unless DFS needs to cancel the program due to low enrollment; in that case everything will be refunded). The supply fee of $300, also collected at registration, is refundable if you choose to cancel your registration by 7/31/24. Because we will need to purchase supplies in advance of the program, the supply fee will not be refundable under any circumstances after 7/31/24.

If you have paid in full for the year and decide to cancel, you will receive a refund, minus your deposit, until 7/31/24. Any cancelations after 7/31/24 will be handled on a case-by-case basis, with the amount of tuition refunded depending, in part, on how soon your spot can be filled by another child. You will be responsible for payment of tuition for one calendar month following cancelation OR until there is another registrant to take the vacated spot, whichever happens sooner, in which case we will offer you a refund pro-rated to the end of the month in which your registration is terminated.

If you are on the payment plan option, payments begin on 8/1/24 and continue monthly until the last payment is made on 5/1/25. Should you choose to cancel before 7/31/24, all payments will be stopped and your supply fee will be refunded. Any cancelations after 7/31/24 will be handled on a case-by-case basis, with the amount of tuition refunded depending, in part, on how soon your spot can be filled by another child. Monthly payments that have already gone through will not be refundable, but further payments will be stopped if we are able to fill your spot right away. If we are not, you will be responsible for paying the following month’s tuition, and further payments beyond that will be stopped.

Upon registration, you will be asked to agree to this cancelation and refund policy.

Additional FAQs

What is the vacation schedule?

Little Coyotes runs from September 4th, 2024, through June 12th, 2025. We will be closed for the following holidays:

  • Veteran’s Day: 11/11/24
  • Thanksgiving Week: 11/25/24 – 11/29/24
  • Winter Break: 12/23/24 – 1/3/25
  • MLK Jr Day: 1/20/25
  • Washington’s birthday: 2/17/25
  • Spring Break: 3/24/25 – 3/28/25
  • Memorial Day: 5/26/25
What is the child to mentor ratio?

We will have 5-6 children per adult mentor. 

What is your approach to safety?

Safety is a top priority for us, since we are all outdoors!

We go over our safety agreements during each morning’s opening circle, which includes making sure the children can always see a Forest Mentor, and that the Forest Mentors can see the children. A child should never be out of a Forest Mentor’s sight unless they are changing and using the restroom, in which case they will check in with us about it. We provide a pop-up tent that children can use for privacy if they feel more comfortable.

We teach the children a coyote howl in case they ever find themselves in a situation where they don’t see a Forest Mentor, and we howl back to them to let them know we hear them and will walk towards them.

In terms of water safety, our Forest Mentors are all trained in our water safety and supervision policies, which include daily observations of variations in creek/river bed, water currents, and child/mentor ratios. DFS will provide life vests for each child, and life vests will be required for all water play. We don’t go into the water from November through March, because it is too cold and sometimes the water levels are slightly higher during the rainy season. 

Will snacks/lunch be provided?

As we will be all outdoors and will not have access to a kitchen, we will not provide snacks and/or lunch, and children will have to pack in their own food. We will be sure to notify parents if anyone in the group has a serious allergy that warrants consideration from all. We will sometimes make food with the children as part of our curriculum (such as fire-roasted potatoes, popcorn, foraged salad, etc.) but this will not be enough for a meal. More information about what to bring on a daily basis will be sent our after registration.

What will the daily rhythm be like?

We will have an opening circle and a closing circle each day. The opening circle is our chance to go over our safety agreements, name song, and set the intention for the day. The closing circle is often a gratitude circle and open-share time of the day.

We have a seasonal curriculum that we will share with the children each day, which includes specific books and activities (nature crafts, nature connection routines, bushcraft skills, etc.). As a child-led program, our activities are presented as an offering/invitation to the children, and there is still plenty of time each day for nature/imaginative play and exploration.

Light hiking will be involved as we move about the area.