Our Philosophy

At Small Friends we strive to create a positive and nurturing environment, in which children feel secure and comfortable. We foster a positive self identity and sense of emotional well being in each child. We nurture the development of social skills, which we believe to be paramount to an individual’s success and happiness.

We encourage children to think, reason, question, and experiment. We believe the knowledge a child gains through hands-on active learning is the knowledge most likely to have meaning to the child and to remain with them. Teachers consistently strive to build on a child’s existing knowledge and guide the child through further thinking and exploration.

We facilitate language and literacy development, as we believe literacy to be the cornerstone of a quality education. We create a word rich environment for our youngest infants through emphasis on the spoken word in storytelling, song, and rhyme and move toward an environment rich with the written word for our preschool children.

We encourage creative expression and foster an appreciation for the arts. We believe early involvement with art, whether painting and drawing, or through music and movement, allow many young children the opportunity to best express themselves. We strive to model and promote sound health and safety practices. We facilitate physical development through the use of many types of indoor and outdoor equipment and a wide variety of activities.

At Small Friends children are grouped according to age and development. We offer four settings to accommodate the needs of individual children. Group placements are based on several factors including a child’s age, social and emotional development.

Our Mission Statement

Small Friends on Nantucket seeks to enhance the quality of life for families and meet the needs of working parents by providing the highest quality early education and care for the children of Nantucket year-round. Toward this end, Small Friends on Nantucket provides children ages three months through five years with an early education and care environment with trained and nurturing professionals.

Licensing & Accreditation

mass dept of e
Small Friends is licensed by the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care (EEC)

Our Green Campus

Small Friends is the first LEED Gold Certified, newly constructed early education and care facility in the entire country. We moved into our home in 2008. LEED is an internationally recognized certification system that measures how well a building or community performs across all the environmental metrics that matter most: energy savings, water efficiency, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts.

Small Friends students are taught about respect for our air, water, and land through the building in which they spend their day. The Small Friends facility is built of rapidly renewing resources such as bamboo and linoleum and has low emitting materials, paint, and adhesives in its construction.


Small Friends has earned the gold seal from GuideStar and Candid. Our gold level indicates a commitment to transparency in reporting financial, leadership, and mission information.


From The Director

Welcome to Small Friends! I am thrilled to lead the only Early Education Center serving the vibrant and diverse Nantucket community. This is an exciting time for your family, especially for your growing little one. Schools can teach many things. Our loving and knowledgeable staff work to plan the day, month, and year in accordance with the needs of your young child. The experiences at Small Friends encourage children to interact with the world around them, express themselves creatively, gain foundation academic skills, and communicate with each other. Families are essential partners in this work, and we provide numerous opportunities for families to be actively involved in their children’s education. We encourage parents, grandparents, and friends to join in classroom and school wide events or volunteer during the day. Please take a look around our website. For even more information, plan to come in for a school tour. We’d be happy to show you around, and we’d love to welcome your family to Small Friends!

If you are interested in enrolling your child, please visit our enrollment page.

If you are interested in working at our school, please visit our careers page.


Nichole Olson

2021 Annual Report