Worms & Wildflowers Home Daycare will operate as a farm and nature-based school in White Rock. Courtesy photo
BY DENISE MATTHEWS
Owner and Lead Educator
Worms & Wildflowers Home Daycare
The Special Use Permit for Worms and Wildflowers Home Daycare was approved February 23 at the County’s Planning and Zoning Commission Meeting. This in-home residential daycare will operate as a farm and nature-based school at my three-acre residence in the La Senda subdivision of White Rock. As the daycare owner and lead educator, I can attest that it has been an arduous process and I am immensely thankful to the county and community members for their support. The process has taken two years and has now been approved twice by the P&Z commission, as well as the County Council.
Quality preschool, daycare, and afterschool options are in great need in our community. This nature-based school will help fill this demand. Nationwide, nature-based preschools have been on the rise, increasing from 50 in 2010 to 585 in 2020. The benefits that time in nature can provide to children is well researched and has been shown to promote socio-emotional development, resilience, self-regulation, a sense of ownership of our local environment, a greater understanding of science, and increased self-confidence.
Many people in the local community have expressed encouragement and excitement for this new unique nature-based daycare opportunity for children. Worms and Wildflowers Farm and Nature School will offer half-day and full day options for their “Wiggle Worms” preschool program as well as a Wednesday afterschool program for K-3rd grade (all limited to 12 children). Children attending will benefit from the many activities our farm offers, including planting and harvesting food, building with natural loose parts, learning to interact and care for animals, as well as simple cooking and creative arts.
I am so grateful for the outpouring of support that helped to ensure children in our community have options for authentic outdoor experiences on a daily basis. More and more early childhood programs attempt to move children indoors to sit in desks while working on academic skills. It is up to parents and leaders in our community to consider the wholistic needs of a developing child, and stand-up for new and innovative early-childhood programs. Thank you to the Los Alamos and White Rock communities, especially La Senda property owners, for welcoming this new addition to the neighborhood.
Worms and Wildflowers Farm and Nature School plans to open in August of 2022, with registration beginning this summer.