Thread: Forest K
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Old 12-20-2018, 03:53 PM
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Heidi Heidi is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 6,858

Originally Posted by skipper View Post
I have a nature daycare. We live on the edge of an otherwise unused forest which provides endless playspaces. My curriculum is Waldorf based and I am the only care home of this type in my area, thus making the demand huge.
Unfortunately, due to the property (wooded, with a small stream, a pond, 200 y/o stone walls, etc - all the things that make it what it is) I can't get licensed. The powers that be would rather the children play on an asphalt pad with plastic climbing equipment in fair weather conditions. They want our home heated with electric, not a woodstove (which the children help gather kindling for as part of their day), our toys are deemed 'unsafe', etc, etc.
Fortunately, there is a population of alternative-minded families in my area who want this for their children and are willing to pay well for it.
My program is full day, all-weather outdoor adventure. The children learn essential safety and survival skills, they are calm, imaginative and wise. When we're indoors they play with rocks, sticks, wooden blocks, etc, they dress up and put on plays, tell stories, bake bread, listen to music. It's very rewarding, but like I said frustrating in that it's not 'legal'.
So, in Wisconsin you must have a fenced in yard in order to be licensed, but you don't have to stay in the yard. It's fine to go for walks or on field trips. Could you fence in a little part of the yard to as a loophole?

But maybe the wood-burner is a deal breaker? We have one, but I never used it during daycare hours, as I recall, and we have a back-up furnace. It's on the upper level of our home, and my daycare was on the lower level, so there was no access either way.
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