The Nest Nursery School opened in the fall of 2011 and represents the fulfillment of a dream for co-founders Teresa Cole, Kristi Cameron and Mandy Palmer. Teresa, Kristi, and Mandy are local mothers and educators who have long envisioned a high-quality childcare center and school in the Southeast Atlanta Community for the very youngest children. The Nest is created with an abundance of collective energy and like-mindedness.
The school provides a unique early childhood education program which is influenced by the educational experiences in the infant/toddler centers and preschools of Reggio Emilia, Italy. The co-founders of the school have made several trips to Reggio to study the approach, and have participated for over 20 years in a local professional development collaborative called Project Infinity which is devoted to supporting conversation and exchange among schools who share an interest in Reggio.
A primary mission of the school is to promote a rich, meaningful early childhood experience for all children. The Nest is borne out of a dedication to challenge the status quo for early childhood education, and it is built on the belief that schools have a responsibility to strengthen family advocacy for education.
Co-founders of The Nest intentionally chose to open the school in a small house as they embraced the idea of creating a special home-like environment for children to spend their time away from their families. The Nest is built upon the idea that the environment should function as a “third teacher”, and the design of the school was prepared accordingly. The environment was rich with engaging materials that offered limitless possibilities for young children. The school had a fully-functioning kitchen that was attached to a dining room in which children and adults enjoyed meals together. The outdoor space of the school embraced the natural world as a key element of the environment.
In August 2017, The Nest relocated from Ormewood Park to a renovated warehouse space in nearby Grant Park. In its new larger facility, the school can accommodate up to 50 children in four classrooms. The relocation and expansion represented a strong moment of evolution for the school. Despite the larger and more “industrial” appearance of the school’s new location, The Nest has taken efforts to preserve a “home-like” feel at the school while embracing the exciting new possibilities of a new larger location.