Our mission is to provide quality care and early education to children of families from Hampshire and Franklin counties.
Our organization is an outgrowth of the Hampshire Children’s Cooperative, which was housed at Hampshire College in the early 1970s. The Cooperative was incorporated as the Hampshire-Franklin Children’s Day Care Center in 1975, and received 501(c)(3) status in July of 1977. Since July, 1987, the day care center has occupied its own building set on over three acres of land along Route 63 in Leverett.
Originally run as a parent collective, the center is now overseen by a parent-staff Board of Directors. Our program fulfills the critical function of providing early education and care to children of families from a diversity of backgrounds: students, professionals, teen parents, single parents, dual-parents, grandparents, etc. Enrollment is drawn from towns within Hampshire and Franklin counties.
We aim to provide high quality child care and early education to families irrespective of their financial means, by attempting to fill at least 40% of program enrollment with subsidized slots for those of low to moderate income. In addition, we accept applications for any child with a disability, with the goal of accommodating the child in the most integrated way possible.
We are constantly trying to improve our program and the curriculum it provides to toddlers and preschoolers. Currently we are in the process of obtaining certification through the National Association for the Education of Young Children. Also, we have been fortunate to receive several small grants that have allowed us to implement enrichment projects such as a parent resource library, a preschool arts program, vegetable gardens, and a native pollinator garden.
However, while our program is in good shape, the same cannot be said of our building! The Center was constructed in 1987 with much hard work and love by families enrolled in the program at that time. Well, that was 25 years ago, and our building is starting to show its age – the windows need replacing, as do the floors and roof. We know we cannot afford to do all of these upgrades at once, so we are focusing this fund drive on raising $10,000 for a new floor and roof, as these are the highest priority maintenance projects. Making these improvements will ensure our program continues to meet state licensing standards for child care centers. If we were to lose our license due to building issues, we would be unable to provide the critically important service of quality, affordable early education and care to the community.
Won’t you please help us get our building in shape so that we can continue to educate and care for Hampshire and Franklin County toddlers and preschoolers for another 35 years ?