Fledglings Nature Preschool | Montana Audubon


Fledglings Nature Preschool

All our Fledglings classes are currently full for the 2024-25 school year.


For questions email Sarah Chatwood, Preschool Coordinator, at [email protected]



Fledglings Preschool Enrollment/Registration:

Our enrollment system is a lottery.  We begin taking name entries for our lottery system in mid-February of each year.  We draw from the lottery on March 1 and inform all lottery entrants of their enrollment status (if they have been drawn for a class opening or if they have been placed on our waitlist). Our waitlist is valid for one year and is wiped clean and started over each March, we do not keep a multiple-year waitlist.

General Information

One of the first nature preschools in Montana and the first (and currently only) in the Billings area, Fledglings Nature 

Preschool is founded on the idea that kids learn best through play and hands-on experiences. Students spend at least 80% of their time outdoors, guided in exploration and learning by our skilled team of teacher naturalists. Academic skills such as pattern recognition, letters, numbers, and colors emerge from the child’s experience–counting birds on the pond, looking for matching colors of flowers and bugs, tracking animal prints in the snow, journaling about nature observations, etc. Positive social interaction and respect for others is heightened and reinforced by outdoor exploration and play, and the children’s learning is grounded in sensory experience of what is closest–the animals, plants, rocks, and weather that surround them every day. Fledglings Nature Preschool is a proud member of the Natural Start Alliance.

Our approach draws from multiple sources, including Nature Pedagogy, Interest-led Flow Learning, Reggio Emergent Curriculum, Inquiry Learning, and others. Our teacher-student ratio of 1:8 ensures in-depth mentoring and relationship-building, and frequent contact among the families of our students creates a community that goes beyond the classroom.

In the 2023-24 school year, we offer eight classes in four class times. Each class time will have two separate classes of 8 students. On Tuesdays and Thursdays we offer one preschool class and one kindergarten enrichment class. 

Days Times Cost
M-W-F 8:30-12:30 $300/month
T-Th 8:30-12:30 $240/month
M-W-F 12:30-3:00 $225/month
T-Th 12:30-3:00 $165/month
T-Th (Fliers Kindergarten) 12:30-3:00 $165/month


Interested in learning more?

Sign up for a tour by e-mailing Sarah Chatwood at [email protected], our Preschool Coordinator

Meet our Teachers!

Sarah Chatwood (Preschool Coordinator, MWF & TTH Morning)

Kylie Tiller (MWF & TTH Morning)

Ashayla Dahlin (MWF & TTH Afternoon)

Alisha Merfeld (MWF Afternoon)

Becca Mathias (TTH Afternoon Kindergarten)


Full bios available on the Center Staff page

A Day at Fledglings Preschool

Fledglings Morning Class Schedule
(subject to change based on seasons and weather conditions)
8:30 Meet teachers at the parking lot
8:30-8:45 Walk to school, search for tracks, observe ponds, chat about the day to come
8:45-10:00 Outdoor exploration and play
10:00-10:45 Indoors for snack and story time, daily jobs, and cooperative playtime
10:45-11:45 Outdoors for more exploration and play in a new location
11:45-12:15 Lunch (indoors or outdoors depending on the weather)
12:15-12:30 Pack up, gear up, and walk to the parking lot to go home

Fledglings Afternoon Class Schedule
(subject to change based on seasons and weather conditions)
12:30 Meet teacher at the parking lot
12:30-12:45 Walk to school, search for tracks, observe ponds, chat about the day to come
12:45-2:00 Outdoor exploration and play
2:00-2:15 Snack and story time (indoors or outdoors depending on the weather)
2:15-2:45 Outdoors for more exploration and play
2:45-3:00 Pack up, gear up, and walk to the parking lot to go home

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