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Early Learning Center

Early Learning Center

Principia’s Early Learning Center (ELC) has a team of experienced teachers and caregivers who offer students from six weeks to three years a loving and engaging environment in which to learn and grow. Professionally trained in the Reggio-Emilia approach, our staff offers rich opportunities for children to explore concepts in depth. We see our students as infinitely capable, creative, and intelligent. Students are encouraged to use a variety of “languages” (drawing, painting, clay work, building, weaving, music, etc.) to learn about and communicate their understanding of the world.

Inside each of our newly refurbished, spacious classrooms, you will find an abundance of natural and ambient lighting, earthy colors, tantalizing textures, and warm woods. The natural materials invite calm engagement with the learning opportunities that greet our students each day. 

Our curricula vary from classroom to classroom, are new each year, and are tailored to the interests of the students. They are play-based, child-focused, and take advantage of the woods, creeks, gardens, orchards, and ponds that our 360-acre campus provides. Woven throughout our daily activities is rich character education with a strong spiritual basis. Students, teachers, and the natural habitat work together to provide our students with a well-rounded and rewarding early learning experience.

Our Program Offers

  • Spiritually-based character education

  • Nurturing environments for children to develop naturally

  • Daily intentional, play-based, experiential learning activities

  • Discovery-based learning through walks in the woods, helping in the permaculture gardens, and exploring our creeks and ponds

  • A focus on developing loving relationships between children and adults alike

  • Malleable experience-based curricular strategies that meet the needs of the individual child

  • A place to cultivate strong friendships

  • A safe place to encourage children to explore outside their comfort zones

  • Loving, well-trained, and highly-specialized teachers 

Children enrolled in the ELC benefit from Principia founder Mary Kimball Morgan's conviction that “ . . . from infancy, children should be taught obedience to Principle, forgetfulness of self, patience, endurance, courage in the right, self-control, and faith in God” (Education at The Principia, p. 23).

 Where and When 

The Early Learning Center is housed in two buildings on the School campus. Each classroom has access to protected outdoor classrooms and play areas that extend out into all 360 acres of our campus, rich with nature and wildlife. 

During the academic year, the ELC is open from 7:45 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.—Monday through Friday. We provide full- and part-time learning options. For an additional charge, late pick-up can be arranged.

We are closed during Principia’s fall break, Thanksgiving break, Christmas vacation, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, spring break (two weeks in March), and for two weeks in July. (Summer operating hours are determined based on demand.) 

2021–2022 Program Costs

Full-time care $1,000/month
Half-time care $550/month
Full-day drop-in* $65/day (4.5 hours or more)
Half-day drop-in* $35/day (less than 4.5 hours)

Meet the Team