About Our Program

Wow and Flutterville Playgardens provides loving, enriching, and nurturing child care for infants and toddlers inspired by Waldorf and Lifeways Early Childhood philosophies. Our playgarden values include open-ended and nature-based play, respect for the whole child, empathy and kindness, reverence for Mother Nature, inclusion, and the celebration of diversity among our communities.

We are committed to:

  • Offering child-centered care for little ones ages 6 weeks to 5 years

  • Providing continuity of care for infants and toddlers in a mixed-age, nurturing, community-oriented environment

  • Excellence in all aspects of child care, including parent education

  • Enhancing our local communities and the natural environment

  • Promoting diversity in all areas through an accessible tuition structure

To honor these commitments, our playgardens provide:

  • A full day of child care, five days a week (Monday through Friday)

  • A curriculum inspired by Waldorf Early Childhood Education and practices based on Lifeways Early Childhood philosophies

  • A truly mixed-age child care experience

  • Very small teacher-to-child ratios

  • Continuity of care for several years with a cozy "extended family" feeling

  • A program designed around spending time outdoors in our wonderfully mild Pacific Northwest climate

  • Sit-down meals and snacks served family-style to promote healthy, adventurous eating

  • Nourishing, organic, when possible, freshly prepared food

  • A "food-centric" approach to learning and living, which includes gardening, cooking, composting, baking, and eating consciously

  • “Green playgardens” the allows for plenty of opportunities for creative sand, dirt, and water play in an established garden that is home to many birds and bugs

  • Opportunities for the natural development of gross and fine motor skills through creative free-play

  • An allergy-friendly environment; we accommodate all allergies and are trained to treat allergies on-site as arranged with parent

  • Fun, laughter, poetry, puppetry, song, seasonal activities and surprises!

About the Owner

Originally from Seattle, Deanna returned to the Pacific Northwest after a 20-year career in L.A.’s music industry. Once settled in Portland, she began pursuing the work she knew was her life’s calling: caring for, loving, playing and dreaming with babies and young children. Having an educational background in Early Childhood Education, Deanna’s studies and training expanded to include Waldorf Early Childhood Education and Lifeways Early Childhood philosophies. She dreamed of creating spaces for little ones that offered them opportunities to learn and grow through nature-based free play. Remembering the absence of this type of child care option while raising her own children, Deanna recognized a need that wasn’t being filled and went to work filling this need in her own community. Deanna founded Wow and Flutterville with the mission of creating a “home-away-from-home” for infants and toddlers and preschoolers that honors attachment parenting, family nursing choices, Mother Nature, inclusion, community, and a child's most important work: to play. Music, the arts, yoga, movement, song, and time spent in nature fill each day at Wow and Flutterville Playgardens. Committed to creating a playgarden culture based on kindness, empathy, community and inclusion in beautiful, warm, inspiring home settings, Deanna opened her first playgarden ten years ago. Since then, her program has expanded to 2 centers in addition to being the owner/director of Wow and Flutterville, Deanna enjoys spending time with her husband and 2 daughters. Her other loves include Kundalini yoga, meditation, nature, the arts and music.