About Us

The Learning Garden was established in 2006 with a commitment to serve children and their families while providing  developmentally appropriate intervention and early care and education services. We value excellence and strive for that in all we do. The Learning Garden is a place where your child will engage in enriched learning experiences using evidenced based practices in behavior analysis and child development.

We are a licensed childcare program that provides an inclusive full day, full year program serving children from 2.5 years to 5 years of age. Our intervention services are provided under our Developmental Disability Agency certification with the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare. These services include behavior intervention, community-based support services, family education, respite and crisis intervention in accordance with Medicaid approved service levels. Our services may be provided in home, community and center-based settings.

Our Philosophy

We see children not as empty vessels waiting to be filled with adult-given knowledge, but constructors of their own learning and experience. The teacher’s role in such an environment is to facilitate, guide, observe, support, and inspire children. Our environment itself is viewed as a third teacher and is responsive to the specific, individualized needs and interests of the children.

Our classrooms are characterized by a deep engagement with the child at every level: the thoughtful design of space designed to promote a sense of wonder, inquiry, and human connection, following the natural pacing and flow of the child’s day; the availability of high quality, mesmerizing materials; and, above all, attention to the quality of a child’s relationships with their self and others.

During the course of the day, children have the opportunity to explore a variety of learning experiences that speak to nature, language and story telling, expression through art, engineering, mathematical reasoning, and music. Conversation and research become key elements of our day as we dig deeper into the child’s ideas and interests. Each child has their own language and path of learning. That unique path becomes our focus.

We are heavily influenced by the Reggio Emilia Approach:

Our Mission

  • Provide a warm, caring environment that welcomes children and families of diverse backgrounds and abilities.
  • Encourage young children to explore, experiment, create, and pursue challenging projects.
  • Develop children’s self-confidence, self-expression, independence, and love of learning
  • Guide children as they learn to play together and negotiate new relationships
  • Foster an appreciation of differences in personality, ability and culture
  • Promote peace in our classrooms and in the world beyond
  • Prepare children, in a gentle way, for a more formal education in the years to come.

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Meet Our Team!

Cathleen Kowalski, BCBA

Founder and Clinical Director

Cathy Kowalski founded Learning Garden in 2006 and serves as the Clinical Supervisor for the organization. Prior to founding Learning Garden, Cathy owned and operated an award winning, accredited early care and education program that served children from 6 weeks to 6 years of age and their families. Cathy holds a master’s degree in education with an emphasis in inclusive educational practices and a master’s degree in Applied Behavior Analysis. She is also a board-certified behavior analyst (BCBA)

We are truly blessed to have a team that includes individuals dedicated to using their talents and efforts in service to others. These professionals work by your side to help your child increase their skills and develop to their fullest potential. We are a place where you can share your fears and hopes for your child and will receive encouragement and support as you take an active role in your child’s treatment. Our staff have significant clinical and early childhood education experience, behavior intervention and developmental expertise to guide your child’s intervention from start to finish.