Ph: 410 381 1326

about us

our mission

The mission of Eco-Tots Early Learning Center is to provide high quality education and child care in an eco-healthy learning environment, allowing for optimal health and development in all aspects of life.

our vision

We envision a world where children are able to develop and receive quality education in a nurturing and healthy environment that is absent from exposures to environmental toxins, and where children learn how to contribute to the preservation of the environment in early childhood.

our philosophy

We feel that we are an extension of each child's family. We recognize that the family is the primary caregiver and source for all areas of development. We want to be a partner with families and feel like a "second home" to our children.We believe exposures to toxins in the environment and in food contribute to some of the health and mental disorders that children experience. We also believe that children's health is an indicator of how well they are developing. We help children obtain optimal health and development by carefully planning the environment they learn in, toys they play with, food they eat, water they drink, and toxins they are exposed to. We focus on the whole child. We stimulate the child's social, emotional, cognitive, and physical development. We aim to foster curiosity, self-esteem, self-discipline, independence, patience, collaboration, and respect for self and others, as well as for the environment. We strive to provide the highest quality of education and care for all children.

eco-friendly principles

  • We believe in respecting and preserving the environment.

  • We respect the global community, and encourage conservation and wildlife preservation.

  • We promote energy efficiency.

  • We practice and educate children about the three R's—reduce, reuse, recycle.

  • We encourage and provide organic and all natural meals and snacks.

  • We promote and use non-toxic and eco-friendly toys and supplies.

  • We promote and use eco-friendly and sustainable furnishings

  • We promote and use all natural and non-toxic cleaning products

  • We encourage the use of VOC free paints and promote clean air.

our staff

Nikia Okoye, M.B.A.

Director of Center Operations

Barissa Gardner, B.A. M.A.


Joan Lloyd

Assistant Director

Swasti Podder


Sabita Debnath, A.A.

Lead Infant Teacher

Melody, Murphy


Fatima Waheed


Leah Cagle

Lead  preschool Teacher

Alexis Poston

Lead Teacher

Tyra Simpson



programs and enrollment

At Eco-Tots, we offer a Creative Curriculum infused with opportunities to learn through exploration of the environment. Through experiential learning, children have opportunities to develop academically in language and literacy skills, math, science, arts, cooking, technology, and eco-living. We provide an environment where children can explore values and seek to learn about differences while bringing people together with similar interest.

tiny tots (infants)

At Eco-Tots Early Learning Center, your baby will be safe, nurtured, and loved! Cuddling and holding very young children is a big part of what we do every day. Our Tiny-Tot classroom is filled with places where babies can roll, sit, crawl, pull up, and learn to walk. The children's individualized schedule helps them develop a sense of trust and gives them the opportunity to explore independently at their own pace. We use eco-friendly furnishings to create a safer environment for each baby, from eco-friendly cribs, mattresses, sheets, wooden toys, and play centers. We also support parents in cloth diapering as part of our philosophy.

Our enriching Tiny-Tot program, not only offers excellent care, but also provides an environment that encourages exploration and stimulating learning experiences. Senses play a major role in the learning process of infants, and the youngest children in our program delight on exploring the world around them through touching, moving, listening, seeing and hearing. Meaningful experiences are introduced on a daily basis in order to support the children's development.

  • Registration: $100

  • Tuition: Call for rates or to set up a tour.

  • Days: M-F (Full-Time Care Only)

  • Hours: 6:30am - 6:30pm

lil tots (toddlers)

Our Lil-Tots program caters to the specific needs of children between 12 months and 2 years old. This age range is full of exploration and huge growth in language and social skills. Our teacher's promote language skills and help the children in their rooms learn to express their wants and needs. Toddlers are extremely curious and active learners! Our teachers recognize this and tailor their classroom specifically for the adventurous nature of this age group. We know toddlers can be a bundle of endless energy, so we offer a safe environment for exploration, excitement, and exercise.

Each day is filled with teacher guided open play time, as the toddlers learn how to interact with one another and the materials around them. The teachers at Eco-Tots Early Learning Center foster all development by providing toddlers with eco-friendly toys and all the tools and activities needed to grow and learn in a way that is developmentally appropriate and geared towards each child's unique personality.

  • Registration: $100

  • Tuition: Call for rates or to set up a tour.

  • Days: M-F (Full-Time Care Only)

  • Hours: 6:30am - 6:30pm

two-tots (2's – 3's)

Our Two-Tots program caters to the needs of two's and early preschoolers. It is designed to introduce young children to a preschool setting that fosters a supportive school environment, in which children will receive the necessary encouragement to develop increasing levels of independence. Our educational curriculum provide children with age appropriate learning focusing on cognitive development, language arts, math, science and social studies concepts. It also emphasizes social, emotional, physical, and cognitive development.

  • Registration: $100

  • Tuition: Call for rates or to set up a tour.

  • Days: M-F (Full-Time Care Only)

  • Hours: 6:30am - 6:30pm

pk tots (pre-k)

Pre-kindergarten is a very special and critical time in a child's learning as they prepare for their journey to Kindergarten. In our PK-Tots program focuses on Kindergarten Readiness, ensuring that children have the skills necessary to be prepared for Kindergarten, and that their first experiences with school will be one of excitement and confidence.

In addition to increased focus on language and literacy development, math development and motor development; we will focus on making sure children are socially and emotionally ready for kindergarten. This social and emotional readiness will enable them to be confident, take on new challenges, communicate both their frustrations and happiness, and have the ability to follow directions and a structured routine. We will also ensure that they are equipped with the knowledge to educate students and encourage eco-friendly habits at their new school!

  • Registration: $100

  • Tuition: Call for rates or to set up a tour.

  • Days: M-F 

  • Hours: 6:30am - 6:30pm

big tots (k - age 12)

Our Big-Tots program offers before- and after-school care. School-age kids age 5 -12 want to feel independent, yet they still need guidance and security. This program is designed to challenge children academically and support their interest in sports, art, music, the environment and more.

  • Registration: $100

  • Tuition: Call for rates or to set up a tour.

  • Days: M-F 

  • Hours: 6:30am - 8:30am & 3:00pm - 6:30pm

eco-healthy enrichment programs

Eco-Tots Early Learning Center offers enrichment programs that allow children to explore creative outlets. Some of the programs include:

Children's Yoga
Children will experience and learn to understand the basic "poses" in yoga. This will help with fitness and help channel children's energy!

Recycle Program
Taking care of the earth is very important at Eco-Tots Early Learning Center. This program will teach children the 3 R's, Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle and will encourage children to have a greater appreciation for the earth!

Gardening and Compost Program
Composting has considerable rewards for gardens and the environment. A garden or compost project is a great teaching tool and is a wonderful way to connect children with the natural world!

the creative curriculum

Eco-Tots Early Learning Center offers The Creative Curriculum® for Infants, Toddlers, and Preschoolers!

The Creative Curriculum® encourages parental involvement and works best when teachers and parents work together. The curriculum offers tools for parents to understand, assess, and support their child's development, as well as connect with teachers and other individuals important in their child's development.

The philosophy of The Creative Curriculum is that young children learn best by doing. The Creative Curriculum is built on theories of development in young children, that all children learn through active exploration of their environment and therefore the environment plays a critical role in learning. The goal of the Creative Curriculum is to help children become independent, self-confident, inquisitive and enthusiastic learners by actively exploring their environment.

The curriculum identifies goals in all areas of development: Social/Emotional, Cognitive, Physical and Language. The planned activities for the children, the organization of the environment, the selection of toys and materials, planning the daily schedule and interacting with the children, are all designed to accomplish the goals and objectives of the curriculum and give your child a successful year.

The Creative Curriculum shows teachers how to integrate learning in literacy, math, science, social studies, the arts, and technology throughout the day. It also gives the teacher a wide range of teaching strategies-- from child-initiated learning to teacher-directed approaches-- to best respond to children's learning styles, strengths, and interests.

  • Blocks

  • Table Toys

  • Art

  • Sand and Water

  • Library

  • Music & Movement

  • Cooking

  • Computers

  • Outdoors

  • Discovery

The richer the environments, the more concrete opportunities there are for children to learn by interacting with materials and people. The teacher's role is to create an environment that invites children to observe, to be active, to make choices, and to experiment.

If you have questions concerning the Creative Curriculum please contact your child's teacher.

parent forms

eco-friendly pledge

We have adopted an "Eco-Friendly Pledge" to encourage families to support efforts to preserve the environment and live healthier lives: "Today, I will be kind to the earth, I will eat healthier foods for my body, and I will encourage others to make better choices for the environment and for themselves. By living eco-friendly each day, I will create a safer, healthier, greener life for myself and in the lives of others".

our partners


Eco-Tots Early Learning Center is committed to our mission of providing quality education and childcare in an eco-healthy learning environment, allowing for optimal growth and development in all aspects of life.  As such, we advocate for policies that seek to fight childhood obesity and improve the quality of life of all children in child care and educational settings:

H.B 1391-Promoting the use of non-toxic cleaning supplies in large childcare homes and childcare centers.

The toxic chemicals often found in conventional cleaning supplies present dangerous health hazards ranging from childhood cancers, ADD, asthma, and autism.  After testing the cleaners used commonly in schools, the Environmental Working Group found over 400 distinct chemicals, and the USDA rated the air quality in 20% of schools as unsatisfactory due to the use of toxic cleaning supplies.

The State of Maryland was one of the first states to pass a law to promote non-toxic cleaning practices in our schools.  Now, our youngest and most vulnerable need the same protections. 

Recommendation: Eco-Tots Early Learning Center Supports H.B. 1391 and urges families to reach out to state legislators to register their support.

Get more information here.

H.R. 882, No Child Left Inside Act

Introduced by Congressman John Sarbanes, this bill amends the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) to direct the Secretary of Education to award grants to states and, through them, competitive subgrants to eligible partnerships to support the implementation of state environmental literacy plans that include environmental education standards and teacher training.

Requires use of the subgrants for one or more of the following activities:

Recommendation: Eco-Tots Early Learning Center supports this legislation and urge families to register their support with Congress. 

Get more information here.

H.B. 1276, The Child Care Centers – Healthy Eating and Physical Activity Act

This legislation passed in 2014 and requires centers to provide healthier drinks to children in their care, better support mothers who are breastfeeding, and reduce non-educational screen time. Many of these standards are based on the successful Healthy Child Care program in Howard County, Maryland.

Recommendation: Eco-Tots Early Learning Center supported this legislation and continues to implement its provisions in our center.

Get more information here.

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contact us

9270 Homespun Drive, Columbia, MD 21045
410 381 1326 |
For questions about tuition, enrollment, and program availability, please fill out the online contact form.

Special Events: Eco-Tots Early Learning Center welcomes families who want to have birthday parties, gatherings, baby showers, etc. at our facility.  For more information about special events, please contact our office at 410 381 1326.

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