Woman holding binoculars Join today and get outside at one of our 60+ wildlife sanctuaries.
Woman holding binoculars Join today and get outside at one of our 60+ wildlife sanctuaries.
People on trail during summer at Habitat
Habitat Education Center, Belmont

Habitat Nature Preschool

What could be more magical than a preschool where each child's innate connection to nature is celebrated? 

At Mass Audubon's Habitat Nature Preschool, children learn through hands-on nature-based experiences that address the developmental needs of children ages 3-5 as they explore the varied habitats at the sanctuary. Give your child a fun, unique, and adventurous learning experience that will last a lifetime.

2024-2025 School Year  

We are excited to begin enrolling students for the 2024-2025 school year! 

Our school year runs from early September 2024 through early June 2025. Specific start dates, end dates, holidays, and vacation week schedules will be provided in our Family Handbook in the summer of 2024.   

5-day Program ($18,144/year)3-day Program ($10,886/year)2-day Program ($7,258/year)
Monday - Friday 
9:00 am–1:00 pm 
Monday, Wednesday, Friday 
9:00 am–1:00 pm 
Tuesday, Thursday 
9:00 am–1:00 pm 

We hope to be able to offer an extended day option during the 2024-2025 school year and will keep our families posted about this possibility as we near September 2024.   

The entry age for enrolling in our 2024-2025 school year is 3 years old by September 1, 2024. All families who have children enrolled are required to have a current Mass Audubon family membership or higher by the start of the school year in September.

How to Enroll

First, fill out our enrollment application. You will receive an auto-generated message immediately after completing the form confirming receipt.  

The registration deadline for returning families and currently enrolled children and their siblings is January 12, 2024, and the deadline for new families is February 9, 2024. After this date, enrollment is ongoing and based on available space.  

Each family will receive an email with their child’s enrollment status by late February 2024. You will be notified as to whether your child has a space in our program or is on our waitlist. Waitlisted families will be notified if a space becomes available. 

Enrollment priority is given to currently enrolled returning children and their younger siblings. Then, to our alum families. Additionally, as we continue toward our goal of making our programs accessible to all, some programs may employ additional prioritization tools or status for underserved communities. All returning or alumni families must apply or re-apply for each child enrolling.  

Financial Assistance

Financial Assistance is available through our scholarship fund and is based on economic need and available funds. Financial assistance applications are due February 2, 2024.

  • A preschooler doing a matching activity at a table
  • Exterior steps of Habitat's Nature Preschool building
  • Teacher and student walking on a path through the woods
  • Two preschoolers looking out over a pond

Teachers & Class Size 

Each class is taught by highly qualified early childhood educators licensed by the MA Department of Early Education and Care. Our class size is 10 students with two teachers, giving a teacher-to-child ratio of 1:5.  


Our emergent and nature-based curriculum provides opportunities for indoor and outdoor play—both structured and unstructured—to develop cognitive, physical, social, and emotional growth in each child.  

A sense of self and community is created through cooperative experiences and shared discoveries. Through outdoor adventures, art and cooking activities, books, music, and movement, children learn emergent math, science, and literacy skills as they investigate stimulating natural history topics. 

Outdoor Exploration 

Investigating the forests, meadows, ponds, and gardens encourages emotional connections to the land, promotes physical development, and fosters a sense of discovery. Children learn to identify plants, flowers and wildlife while developing a long-lasting respect and care for the sanctuary and the natural world.  

Nature Play 

Children are offered the opportunity to play, use their imagination and interact with one another while exploring the changing landscape and various habitats around the sanctuary during all seasons.  

Meaningful Connections with Animals 

We are so fortunate to be able to provide a variety of authentic opportunities for children to share meaningful connections with animals, including: 

  • Visiting with the resident goats and learning how to care for them.  
  • Monthly visits with a resident animal ambassador from Mass Audubon’s Wildlife Care Center at Drumlin Farm (a long-term care facility for injured or human-habituated wildlife that cannot survive in the wild). 
  • Discovering wildlife by the pond including turtles, bullfrogs, tadpoles, minnows and other fish, ducks, geese, and other birds.  
  • Observing wildlife in the forest and on the trails including deer, chipmunks, birds, woodchucks, rabbits, turkeys, foxes, and garter snakes. 

Contact Us 

If you would like to learn more about the Habitat Nature Preschool, you can email us or call 617-207-2160.