About Our School

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Our History

The Children’s Center opened its doors in September 1971, beginning with only a handful of children in a donated space & a budget of only a few thousand dollars. Since then, the Center has grown into a model of quality early childhood education serving over 100 children every year for over 50 years, and receiving NAEYC accreditation along the way!

We are grateful to St. John’s Church for providing us a home in our early years.  From our location in the center of town, we learned how rich an experience it can be to have the whole town as your classroom.  In 1980, The Children’s Center bought the large Tudor building on Aspetuck Avenue, the former home of our founder, Dr. Barbara Hamlin. With nearly an acre of land, we were able to expand our building and programs, allowing us to enroll over 70 children a year without losing the warm feeling of the original home.

Compliance with health and safety standards is essential for the well-being of the children entrusted to our care.  As such, The Children’s Center meets or exceeds all the guidelines required by the Connecticut State Department of Health.

“All Children Have Gifts, They Just Open Them At Different Times”

Using the Connecticut Preschool Curricular Goals & Benchmarks and Connecticut’s Guidelines for the Development of Infant & Toddler Early Learning as a framework; teachers plan curricular goals and monthly lesson plans that address Cognitive Development, Personal & Social Development, Creative Expression/Aesthetic Development, Physical Development, and Language Development & Communication.

Daily activities encourage children to master self-help skills and provide opportunities to observe, perceive, explore, investigate, imagine, laugh, persist, and problem solve! Our Intentional Teaching practices emphasize balance: active & quiet times, indoor & outdoor activity, large & small groups, and structured & unstructured play. We recognize the value of play, as it affects learning in curriculum areas such as: math, science, language, literacy, creative expression, & motor skills.

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Why Choose Us?

Nationally Accredited School with NAEYC

The Children’s Center was the 1st preschool in Connecticut to receive National Accreditation by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), the professional organization that sets the gold standard for preschools. We received scores of 100% on all ten of the NAEYC standards in a recent Accreditation renewal review. NAEYC programs are nationally recognized for their commitment to excellence in early childcare education through providing a safe and healthy environment, well trained teachers, excellent teaching materials, an appropriately challenging & developmentally sound curriculum. Though challenging to achieve, we’ve maintained our NAEYC accreditation since 1986!

The Whole Town Center Is Our Classroom 

Our brilliant location gives us the benefit of being within walking distance of the town green.  Our children develop a deep sense of connection to the community through our many walking trips to: New Milford Library, The Senior Center, Canterbury School, Young’s Field, & other local businesses!

Extra Enrichment At No Extra Cost

At The Children’s Center, we are sure to provide extra-curricular activities and additional enrichment to ensure the best quality care and education for all of our children here. Such enrichment includes: Music & Yoga classes bi-weekly taught by specialists, lovely apple picking trips to Averill Farms, pumpkin picking trips to local farms, art adventures offered in partnership with The Village Center for the Arts, and vision screenings available for all kids.

Affordable Cost Available

Here at The Children’s Center, we prioritize the children, not profit. For those families who need assistance with costs, we offer a sliding scale fee for all of our available programs. Please contact us with any questions or further inquiries!

Frequently Asked Questions
What Makes The Children's Center of New Milford, Inc Unique?
Part of what makes our center special is our deep-rooted connection to the community.  The Children’s Center has been a longstanding staple of quality and affordable early childhood education in the community for over 50 years.  As the first preschool in CT to receive the prestigious National Association of the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) accreditation, we take our educational standard very seriously.  With over half of our families being low-to-moderate income, our mission is to be able to provide access to the best care and education for all members of our community.  Whether the children are visiting seniors at the Senior Center, learning about the workings of the mailroom at the Post Office, caroling at Town Hall, or taking an art class at the Village Center for the Arts, our students are active members of the community! 
What is the Difference Between a Private Spot and a Slider Spot?
The Children’s Center is honored to be the sole recipient of the Child Day Care (CDC) contract in New Milford in partnership with the Office of Early Childhood (OEC). The CDC allows us to serve families who meet income eligibility guidelines based on a sliding fee scale set forth by the OEC.  In order to determine and maintain eligibility, families submit certain paperwork, including proof of income, on a yearly basis. Therefore, there are two types of slots available at the Children’s Center – ‘full pay’ and ‘sliding-fee’, and there are a specific number of each slot available for each classroom.  Aside from the qualification paperwork, the only difference in the slots is that sliding-fee students cannot attend on a part-time basis, only full-time.

Child Day Care Contracts – Connecticut Office of Early Childhood (ctoec.org)

Do you accept Care4Kids?
Yes!  Everyone is encouraged to see if they are eligible to receive additional tuition assistance through this program, even if you already have a sliding-fee slot.  Please visit the Care4Kids website to determine eligibility. If you choose to apply, there is a “Provider” portion that we will happily complete for you. 

CT Care 4 Kids – Connecticut Office of Early Childhood

What is the Food Program?
The Children’s Center is a participant in the Child and Adult Care Program (CACFP), which is a federal program that provides reimbursements for nutritious meals and snacks to eligible children and adults who are enrolled for care at participating child care centers, day care homes, and adult day care centers.  We do not allow any outside food/drink at our Center, but provide a full breakfast, lunch, and afternoon snack at no additional cost. 
What Curriculum Do You Use?
At the Children’s Center we do not subscribe to any purchased curriculum program. Instead, we are guided by Early Childhood Education best practices, as our goal is to ensure we are creating a safe, nurturing, respectful, and enriched environment. As a licensed early childhood center, we use the Connecticut Early Learning Development Standards (CT ELDS) as a framework to guide lesson planning and milestone acquisition. Furthermore, as a National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) accredited program, we are committed to providing high quality early learning by adhering to the highest standard of early childhood education practices.


Our pedagogical approach of teaching to the whole child speaks to the daily multisensory activities the children are exposed to, the encouragement to master self-help skills, and the opportunities to observe, perceive, explore, investigate, imagine, laugh, persist, and problem solve!  Our Intentional Teaching practices emphasize balance: active & quiet times, indoor & outdoor activities, large & small groups, as well as structured & unstructured play. We recognize the value of play in its direct correlation to the acquisition of executive function and self-regulation; play inevitably initiates learning in curriculum areas such as math, science, language, and literacy. 

Do You Offer Part-Time Care?
Part-time slots are only available at the Preschool level.  The hours are 9am-1pm, and options are for 3 or 5 days.  The selection would either be M/W/F or T/W/Th, depending on the classroom with availability.