Kate (& Erik) Blake Maumee Valley Parents

"We love the ELC Forest School program at MVCDS! Every morning our son is excited to get to school and get out to the woods. In just the first few months, we’ve seen him become stronger, have better balance, and gain overall confidence. But it’s not just a physical experience for him; he’s building friendships and exploring literacy and math out there too."

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  • The Early Learning Center at Maumee Valley

    Age 3 Years - Kindergarten
Children are born with an innate drive to learn. The Early Learning Center provides an environment that promotes this philosophy through play and a forest school inspired program that values process over product, and that provides adults with whom children develop trusting, caring relationships.

Welcome to Forest School

Our Early Learning Center is unique to other learning centers in that we have full use of our 75-acre campus that includes woods, creeks, fields, and trails for teachers to implement the curriculum and our forest school inspired program.

The Early Learning Center engages, nurtures, and supports young children in their pursuit of knowledge and meaning through inquiry, social-emotional development, child-centered curriculum, and creative expression. This is where our students begin their journey toward becoming competent, compassionate, collaborative, and creative global citizens.

The Maumee Valley ELC places children based on their development, and not strictly by age, allowing for classroom groupings that best meet each child's needs. Our team of expert educators focuses on “whole child development”, ensuring that each student’s cognitive, social-emotional, and physical needs are being met while paying careful attention to the many unique communication and learning styles of young children.

Our Philosophy

The Early Learning Center’s mission is to provide an environment that encourages independence while valuing the time and development of individual children. Children construct their own knowledge through flexible instruction, child-initiated play, and through the process of learning how to learn. We are a diverse community that fosters mutual respect and social responsibility, enhanced by a strong partnership between home and school.

Personal, Experiential, & Global

Giving all children time to explore nature, however they choose, is high on our priority list. Children gain a sense of pride and grow through self-led, deeply engaged play. Our Forest School inspired program incorporates the traditional Scandinavian philosophy with our developmentally appropriate curriculum. You can find our teachers conducting their morning meetings outside, our students planting in our garden beds and our parents talking to their children about their learning experiences via their child’s digital portfolio.

We encourage awareness in the children by engaging their senses with the environment around them. We often ask questions such as, “What has changed since our last visit?”, “How does the water feel today?”, “Can you smell an acorn?”, “Do you think that is one bird calling, or many?”, or “Who do you think lives in our park?” These questions serve as a way to foster the connection with nature, encouraging the children to think about what is happening around them while they are playing.
MVCDS is home to more than 75-acres of forest that is just waiting to be explored. Our Forest School inspired program helps our youngest learners connect with the beautiful natural spaces that surround us.

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  • Your Educational Journey Begins Today

    Welcome to Maumee Valley
    For more information contact us at admissions@mvcds.org or by calling 419-381-1313.
Maumee Valley Country Day School is the only age 3 - 12th grade accredited, co-educational, independent school in Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan.