top of page



Emerald Heart children enjoy being outdoors, which is a good thing, because our classroom is the forest!


Emerald Heart girls and boys range from 3 to 5 years of age. It is not possible to determine a child's readiness strictly by age. 


Some children will be ready to join us at 3 years, while others will be ready at 3.5 or even at 4. 


Our explorers 

  • Are fully potty trained. Can pee and poop on a potty chair with ease. Rarely has potty related accidents.

  • No longer take morning naps.

  • Can express wants/needs with words--with other children and with adults.

  • Can be away from parent.

  • Can participate in our forest school day, including playing with other children and joining in for Circle Time.

  • Will generally follow an adult's guidance.

  • Do not wander off.

Readiness depends on the individual child, so please inquire if you have questions.

As of November 2022, an in-person visit with your child is required of all applicants. If you are applying for a start date that is in the distant future, you will be asked to visit with your child closer to their start date. This visit is to gently observe their readiness. 

Our teacher/child ratio ranges from 1/4 to 1/6. This means our teachers can give plenty of individualized attention and care. 

Because we are outdoors in all weather, including rain, our explorers dress in appropriate gear. We realize that costs of new gear can add up. Currently, we offer loaner rain gear from our Gear Library, which has a variety of previously worn jackets, bibs, pants and boots.




Taira Restar, our lead teacher, has taught children and adults for nearly 40 years and specifically as a place-based educator for over 20 years. She is a somatic movement therapist and a certified Breakthrough Parenting instructor. 


Qian Wang and Stephanie Ormsby are well loved teachers. They are passionate about being of service and are honored to support Emerald Heart children. 

more on our teachers


We believe that our direct experiences in, with and as nature are beneficial to us and to our world--now and in the future. We foster love and gratitude for Earth through our intimacy with our beloved forest kin, who we consider our friends and wise teachers.


At Emerald Heart, we also honor and nourish the unique inner landscape of each child.

more on our philosophy




Fall Semester: September 6 - December 14, 2022  

Winter/Spring Semester: January 9 - June 7, 2023

in Inverness / Point Reyes,

west Marin County, CA

Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays

from 9:00am - 1:30pm.
[See below for information on our Thursday program.]

Tuition is $770/month for 10 months, September - June.

*includes supplies fee

Inquire about our scholarship program.

One time non-refundable administration fee of $129 is required at time of application. 

We are currently enrolling for fall 2023.


Aftercare is available from 1:30 - 2:30pm on Mondays and Wednesdays for an additional fee.



In summer 2023, we will offer a summer camp in June. Our camp is structured with our usual daily rhythm (see OUR DAILY RHYTHM.) Camp includes many lighthearted camp-style activities. Information about summer camp will be published here no later than early spring. Please check back with us. 

We are a fully outdoor program. 

We have designed our CV-19 safety protocols based on Marin County's guidelines for childcare. The children's health and safety are our top priority.

Because we are fully outdoors, children and teachers do not wear masks. Teachers are vaccinated. and boosted. 

Feel free to speak with our director, if you have specific concerns. We know these are uncertain times and extra special care is needed. 



Our forest classroom is mixed woods of coast live oak, Douglas fir and California bay. Our forest friends include scrub-jay, gray squirrel, gray fox and black-tailed deer among many others. Our forest home is a rich and varied place that inspires a love of nature and fosters earth stewardship. 



We are located on the unceded ancestral lands of the Coast Miwok Peoples past and present. We honor with gratitude the land itself and the people who have stewarded it throughout generations.



Just as Nature has cycles and rhythms, we follow a daily rhythm that provides the children with gentle structure and comfort. Within this rhythm, there is room for improvisation and following the children's interests and needs.

more on our rhythm



In July 2021, Emerald Heart moved from Fairfax to Inverness Park in west Marin.

Our sister forest school, A Wilder Harmony, is offering a similar program in our former location in Fairfax, CA. Visit their website for information.

bottom of page