|are you interested in moving to a particular region of the US?
Good question. Not now. We are finishing up school and then we are open for change, depending on lots of factors. And a kindergarten is one of them. But my stance is starting to change...
I read recently that 5% of German kids are in these so-called "Waldkindergartens" - it may not seem like a lot but they are catching on here. Ours was founded by a mom who really wanted her daughter to go to this kind of kindergarten last year. It opened in August and my ds started there in October. He loved it from the start. (He's always been a day care kid since we have to study, but he had recently switched from his great day care to a very nice kindergarten (2.5-7) where he was absolutely miserable. From the first day on in the forest there's been no turning back, no misery, no "but I don't want to". We just had a 3 week summer break and he asked after 4 days when he gets to go back to kindergarten! He's 3!!)
The founding was hard work and there is still enough to do around and about, but everything runs quite well. The hours are awesome, the teachers are great, the concept is to die for. Maybe I'll dive into the behind-the-scenes work here and try to found one myself if we ever move.
I'm from the Chicago area, and I already have enough ideas about where this kind of kindergarten could be "implemented" - I bet every city has enough possibilities. Even Berlin has multiple Waldkindergartens - some of them (in cities) meet in big city-parks or forests.
I really hope that this starts to catch on. If anyone wants to look at some pictures or knows any German, our kindergarten's website is: http://www.waldkinder-ilmenau.de
there are some pics if you click on "Wissenswertes" and "Galerie" (edit: here Pictures
Maybe I'll get around to translating it sometime...