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The Growing Tree

Play & Nature Based

We believe in the importance of PLAY and the OUTDOORS! We strive to inspire a sense of wonder and playfulness to help build a foundation for a lifelong love of learning and nature. We explore the outdoors rain or shine in our spacious fenced in yards.

Progressive Curriculum

Experience-based learning is a central theme at Growing Tree. Our teachers guide children how to think, rather than what to think. We offer activities and a learning environment which encourages children to take ownership in their own learning and be curious about the world around them. Teachers observe, ask questions, and alter the curriculum based on the children’s interests and skill level. We strive to raise critical thinkers and nurture children’s innate curiosity in the world around them.  

Compassion & Empathy

Kindness matters! Children have an innate capacity for compassion. We help them understand why kindness matters and what it means to be compassionate. Diversity in age, race, and ability is present in our classrooms. We are all unique and we set to celebrate differences, This helps to foster an environment of respect and responsibility.


Jessica Dixon & Alli Atterbury

Reggio Emilia, Montessori, & Waldorf Inspired

Each of these philosophies are wonderful on their own, but we do not believe there is only one right method to approach early childhood education. Therefore we use a blend of each approach that results in multi-age classrooms, child-centered learning, and an emphasis on art, play, and nature.

Low Ratios & Partners in Parenting

All three schools have a much lower child to teacher ratio than the state requires. This allows us to build close relationships with each child and their family. Many families are with us from infancy to kindergarten. We are your “partners in parenting” and will work closely with you to individualize care for your child.

Nordic Influence

The Nordic countries have a long history of being pioneers for early childhood education. The nordic school model values equality for all and stresses the importance of play. These are ideals we greatly believe in. We've embraced the Danish word hygge; a feeling of coziness and contentment and the Norwegian word friluftsliv; a commitment to celebrating time outdoors, no matter the weather forecast. With our cozy at home-like environment and large play yards, we pride ourselves in serving as a “home away from home” for the children in our care!


Jessica Rowe & Alli Atterbury

We met as toddlers at a home-based daycare on Mercer Island. As children we were always found with baby dolls in our arms or even assisting with the younger infants at our daycare. In middle school our entrepreneural spirit engaged and we started a neighborhood babysitting business. With dreams of one day starting our own childcare business, we both attended Washington State University and earned our degrees in Early Childhood Education. Our wonderful daycare experience set us on our life path to open a daycare of our own!

After graduating from college, we spent the next few years gathering invaluable experience by working at local daycares. We got hands on lessons about running a daycare and began planning how to incorporate our own childcare philosophies and open a business of our own.


2013: opened The Growing Tree Playcare & Preschool, a licensed home daycare in Bellevue, WA. 

2016: opened The Treehouse Playcare & Preschool for children 2.5-4 years old. 

2019: added a Pre-Kindergarten Annex to Treehouse Playcare & Preschool for children 4 and 5 years old.

2022: expanded Growing Tree to a larger licensed childcare center for infants- 5 years old.


We started with just the two of us doing all the teaching and have grown to a current team of 40+ wonderful teachers. Our program and curriculum continues to grow and adapt. We take great pride in continuing education and stay up to date with the latest research in early childhood eduction.

Our mission is simple. We want to provide a unique, enriching, and loving environment for children to thrive in. All of our locations are play and nature-based to help us accomplish this. A curriculum inspired by a blend of philosophies by Montessori, Reggio Emilia, and Waldorf approaches will help your child learn, grow, and be happy.

We are each married now, Alli with two children who attend Growing Tree, and Jessi with one on the way!

We look forward to meeting you and your family!

-Jessi and Alli​​​​​​

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