The Children’s Early Learning Space was originally a child care center for the Waterbury plant of Ben & Jerry’s Homemade, Inc., and became independent in 1999, ten years after it was founded. Known formerly as The Waterbury Children’s Space, the center moved into its current location in the beautiful Old Duxbury School House in 2003. Our 2,500 square foot space has 2 1/12 acres of green, two playgrounds, a wonderful staff and is located off of the Winooski River at the gateway to Camel’s Hump State Park.
Pictured below are historic images of the original Duxbury School House and former students. The Duxbury School served as a town gathering place until the closing of Duxbury's one room school houses in 1950. The school's floating floor accommodated occasional dances and had a rolling partition. The town of Waterbury (we straddle the line) has a population of 5,064 and is a rural Vermont community. Town attractions are the Little River State Park, with its stunning reservoir, and Perry Hill, a favorite spot for mountain bikers and hikers. Waterbury is also known for its excellent elementary school, Thatcher Brook Primary School. Through the Universal Preschool Program, TCELS has served the Washington West Supervisory Supervisory Union since 2002.
We experienced Tropical Storm Irene in August of 2011 and suffered the loss of materials in storage, and greater losses due to a shift in tuition revenue from our severely affected community. Due to this overnight change in our culture, we have had to reinvent ourselves, like many businesses in Waterbury, and grow rapidly with the times. We have opened our sights outwards to experience the benefits of the many talented organizations in Vermont that bolster early education or have provided flood relief.
We continue to look forward and offer inspired care and 4STARS (Step Ahead Recognition System of Vermont) early education to our 40 families of Waterbury's youngest population. Our Board of Directors has worked to achieve this goal, reinforcing our current mission and expanding into new initiatives.