Offering Baby Playtime & The KinderGarden Program

celebrating active explorers and curious learners

About Us
Climbing Vine Childcare provides year-round programing on 18 acres in Newfield. We offer a morning program for babies and toddlers during the school year and a summer gardening program for children ages 3 to 8.

Baby Playtime-- for infants and toddlers

We offer a thoughtfully-prepared home environment supporting your child's self awareness, confidence and early literacy through responsive interactions, open-ended exploration, songs, rhymes, word play, books and stories.

We offer individualized teaching and caring based on the child's interests, needs, family experiences, home language and cultural experiences.

We are happy to support cloth diapering, breastfeeding, potty training and special diets.

The Environment

Our indoor shelter is a beautiful timber frame home featuring a library, art center, large motor area, block and building table, imagination center and housekeeping area. Development of fine motor skills is encouraged with beading, lacing, peg and bolt boards, shape sorting boxes, etc.. Quality art and music-making materials, blocks, and puzzles are available as desired.

Outside our discovery garden teems with flowers, vegetables, insects, bees and butterflies. In the orchard children love to play on the playground and in the sandbox. They also delight in feeding the chickens, collecting eggs and visiting the horses. 

The KinderGarden Program - ages 3 to 8
Mondays, Tuesdays & Wednesdays, 9am -noon
2012 schedule TBA     
Click here to download an application.

The KinderGarden Program offers children the opportunity to learn about the natural world through hands-on activities and experiments. Each child will use and care for her own tools. Children learn to plant seeds, transplant seedlings, water, weed, compost and mulch. Expectations are realistic and tailored to the strengths, interests and needs of individuals. Children learn about beneficial insects, pollination, companion planting, and so much more all while snacking on veggies and playing in  a garden. Children are proud to show off their work by bringing home a share of the garden's bounty including berries, vegetables, flowers and eggs at the end of each week.

Children Say..."Mom that was the perfect place to be a garden for me. I think Katie and Michelle are beautiful people. I can't wait to come plant some seeds on Monday. Is that the day after today?"    - Asher, age 4

Parents Say...

“What delights me is that Lilly now goes around puttering in our garden at home, pulling weeds and planting stray begonias that haven't yet made unto our courtyard flowerbed, without prompting and purely on her own, because she loves it so. And Spencer feels compel to point to every bucket he sees and authoritatively announces: 'compost.'”
- Juri, mom

“Louisa really learned a lot at camp and always came home talking about the things she learned that day. She really has a better understanding of gardening, as well as cool bug and butterfly knowledge! Thanks for creating such a beautiful program. I've been highly recommending it to all of my friends.”
- Elisa, mom

About The Teachers

Michelle Menter - Head Teacher

I believe the best people on the planet are kids. As a parent, teacher and care giver my biggest goal is to create an environment that supports the development of a child's ever unfolding self.  Through experiences in nature, access to great art and art materials, stories, books, poems, dance, music and time spent in the loving environment of happy adults children can grow up to realize their full potential. I was raised on a farm in Newfield. I spent summers exploring the forest and riding horses with my sister. After obtaining a BA in painting and women’s studies, I returned to begin an apple orchard and organic garden with family at Two Sisters Farm. We have provided CSA shares to families and sold vegetables, eggs, flowers and fruit at the Ithaca Farmers Market. I also directed See Spot Community Artspace on The Commons for four years. When I became a mother to Elsa 5 years ago I started the gardening program so that she would grow up with her hands in the soil helping to nurture life in cooperation with other children. For the past two years I've also offered a morning program to pre-school age children. With the arrival of my second child Frankie I decided to offer a morning program for babies and toddlers so that he too can grow up in an nurturing and exciting environment with other children. I'm passionate about creating a space (indoors and out) that supports the intellectual, emotional and creative development of children and I love having the opportunity to share this environment with the best people in the world.

Katie Anderson - Co-Teacher for The KinderGarden

I inherited a love of gardening from my mother and grandmother and have always been passionate about children! I am the mother of two young girls, and in addition to growing vegetables with them in a garden plot last summer, I worked as a pre- k teacher in a family group daycare setting. After spending 3 1/2 years at a local childcare center as a teaching assistant, I returned to TC3 as a full-time student where I am currently pursuing a degree in early childhood/elementary education. I am very excited to be a part of the wondrous melding of childhood, nature and learning through the KinderGarden program!

First Aid and CPR Certified.


Michelle Menter
(607) 564-7140

Baby Playtime
Mondays & Tuesdays 9am -12pm $200/mo

Click here for an application