Why Small Wonders

We thank you for your interest! We look forward to meeting your family and child(ren) at a future tour. Please explore the website fully, there is a lot of information available to help you in your decision process. Interested in attending a tour? Contact us today at enrollment@smallwondersschool.org for the upcoming tour dates and times. We are accepting applications for those looking ahead to summer and beyond!

Small Owner-Operated Business

Small Wonders is an owner-operated small business, we are not corporate, and our feet are on the ground running the day-to-day operations. Allison founded Small Wonders along with her husband Nick (who supports back of house operations including accounting, payroll, and the like) in their Fremont home shortly thereafter joined by a teacher aide, Quinlyn. As the program grew from one house to two, and then to a center setting and another, Quinlyn became co-owner of Grant Park. Allison and Quinlyn maintain a daily onsite presence in classroom and out--you will see them as lead teachers, hosting tours, attending to your emails, and more. We feel this personal devotion makes SWS a stand out program--we know every child, we dive deep into play and messy projects, and we host rousing storytimes or song circles.

Our Teachers!

We take pride in providing an exceptional learning environment for your child. Prospective parents sometimes ask what qualifications we seek in a teacher. We go to great lengths to hire teachers that meet and exceed all state and local requirements. In addition to performing background and reference checks, we have a multi-step selection process to ensure we are selecting the best additions to our team. Not only do our lead teachers exceed the teaching qualifications as outlined by licensing but our assistants do as well with the vast majority of our staff obtaining a Step 7 or higher on the Oregon Registry Steps.  But our teacher search goes beyond that, because the qualifications for a truly great teacher are more than an itemized list of skills. The have chosen this vocation not to be loved by their students, but to appreciate and understand who they are and the mystery and wonder that they bring each day. A Small Wonders teacher works on the child’s level, looks them in the eyes, laughs at their jokes, smiles when they succeed, and helps them get up and try again.

We want to celebrate our teachers! Our holidays and closures such as our extended winter break are paid holidays and closures giving them time to travel and visit with families and friends and maybe catch up on their Netflix queue. Additionally to the kind words and thoughtful holiday gestures from families our teachers also receive ongoing training to meet their state required hours and a monthly health stipend to be applied to their deductible or alternative care or items of their choosing. Between our starting wages and our lead teacher salaries our average pay falls $5/hr more than the state average for early childhood education. We grant opportunities for growth, regardless of their educational standing, though we are proud to have so many experienced and educated degree holding young persons. The majority of our teachers begin as aides, new to the field but eager to obtain experience and we offer training opportunities that have brought many to undergrad and graduate opportunities such as social work, speech and language pathology, marriage and family studies, education, and more. Those interested and willing to apply themselves have become leadS and administrators within our program--they are standouts in their energy and approach and bring a new level of creativity to our school community. We are selective in forming our teaching teams and strive to allow generous overlap in transitions and training as much as possible.


What's this item about? What makes it interesting? Write a catchy description to grab your audience's attention...We open our doors to everyone, including people of all backgrounds, religions, abilities and sexual orientations, and family structures. Joining Small Wonders School means joining a group of dynamic, creative, professionals and parents. Each year, we learn together, make connections, and play together as an essential part of school life. Family events each year include playdates, community gatherings and meet ups, and more.
Families support our school in a variety of ways; some choose and are able to volunteer their time by coming to share a skill, an interest, or a story. Others connect with teachers and share thoughts and ask questions. The majority of our families remain with us until their child is ready to begin Kindergarten which is often 3-4 years! We become close, we have play dates, we connect, and we have built an outstanding community! We are often your child and your families first introduction to schooling, we want this to be a positive experience. And once your child is ready to transition to Kindergarten we are there, helping you navigate the school choice process and preparing both you and your child for that next learning adventure.

High Quality and Recognized

In 2016 we participated in QRIS (now SPARK); child care providers and early learning programs who choose to participate in the QRIS are evaluated on a range of elements that are essential for quality care and preparing children for kindergarten and beyond. We are proud to be one of the select programs in the state to receive a 5-star designation with recognition for our excellence in everything from curriculum to business practices to teacher education and training. Learn more!

Reggio Inspired Design

Our Hollywood Center was designed and built custom to our Reggio-inspired specifications. Our Grant Park space followed suit. Upon entering you will spy our Atelier or art studio space. Our classroom space utilizes natural materials and is void of commercialized products and plastic storage materials. We celebrate the aesthetic beauty of nature, light and natural materials–wood, plants, glass and stoneware, etc.–while exceeding the classroom design standards of ECERS. Our smaller original Fremont space was featured on the likes of online design magazine Apartment Therapy.

There's More!

  • Positive Environment: Small Wonders is your child’s introduction to schooling housed in an intimate environment, as such we encourage and feed a love of learning! We strive to be a place of nurturing and play.

  • We are a State Child Care. Our programs are regulated by the State of Oregon Child Care Division. Both our Center and Certified Family programs undergo an annual certification process, unannounced visits and are inspected by the Child Care Division, County Health Department and Fire Marshall.

  • Enriching Activities: Our days are filled with meaningful projects. From the sensory table to the day’s exploratory art experience your child is gaining new skills, having fun, laughing lots and always growing. We bringing outside specialists, like Reptile Guy, Firefighters, Penny’s Puppet Productions, or The Smile Bus.

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