Mary Johnson Children's Center

The Middlebury Cooperative Nursery School, known locally as the Nursery School, is an early childhood program designed for children ages 3-5.  Housed in a 1900’s two room school house, the program is divided loosely by age, 3 year olds and younger 4 year olds in one classroom and older 4 year olds and 5 year olds in the other classroom.  There is significant interaction between the two classrooms throughout the day.

Parents are always welcome in the program and the Nursery School strives to maintain its history of meaningful family involvement in the program. Families work together with the teachers to create an atmosphere that strengthens learning both at the program and in the home. Families are encouraged to share special interests or passions.  A love of books, collecting intriguing objects, playing an instrument, telling a story - this sharing brings important educational experiences to all the children in the program.

Although families no longer have a required work component as part of the enrollment of their children, the Nursery School continues to depend upon families for help with the twice-annual family workdays and annual fundraising campaigns.


From the North (Middlebury): Head south on Route 7.  Approximately 4 miles from the center of  Middlebury, turn left  onto Vermont Route 125. Go straight on Route 125 through the blinking red light.  Middlebury Cooperative Nursery School is approximately 300 feet from the intersection on the north side of the street, almost directly across from Goodro Lumber. Middlebury Cooperative Nursery School sits well back from the road and is painted a soft yellow.  The parking lot is in front of the building.

From the South: Going north on Route 7, the turn off for Route 125 is about 12.5 miles north of Brandon. Turn right onto Vermont Route 125. Go straight on Route 125 through the blinking red light. Middlebury Cooperative Nursery School is approximately 300 feet from the intersection on the north side of the street, almost directly across from Goodro Lumber.  Middlebury Cooperative Nursery School sits well back from the road and is painted a soft yellow. The parking lot is in front of the building.


Middlebury Cooperative Nursery School is open from 8-4 daily.

There is a three-day minimum enrollment.

Tuition Rates for 2022-23

3 days = $185      
4 days = $225  
5 days = $265  

MCNS Family Handbook


In the Mary Johnson Children's Center programs we are committed to creating a diverse community of children and families.  Families are encouraged to be proactive in their search for an early childhood program, and if they believe they are interested in enrolling their child they should ensure that their child is on the Center’s wait list

When enrolling children, we strive towards creating a balanced group of children and families.  The following criteria are all considered:

• Age range
• Sibling status
• Gender
• Children and families with special needs
• Enrollment contracts
• Date of placement on waitlist

Tuition Subsidy:  Rates are spelled out in the Center’s tuition agreement that must be signed and returned at the time of enrollment.  If your child receives state tuition assistance, all paperwork must be processed before your child begins.  To inquire about subsidy, contact Domina at (802) 388-4304, or e-mail her at

Pre-school Partnership:  If your child is 3 or older by the start of the school year, you may qualify for funding from your local school district via the Universal Pre-school Partnership Program (Act 166.) Before enrolling, eligible families will receive and must submit a school district form allowing Mary Johnson to access this funding for their child.

Summer Only:  Often we have openings for just the summer, as not all children attend year-round.  This option is especially good for those coming from out of town to work at Middlebury College or spend the summer in Vermont.  To place yourself on the waitlist for these openings, see the instructions below.

Mary Johnson Children's Center programs do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, special need, medical condition, ancestry, sexual orientation or citizenship.

Wait List

Families are encouraged to put their child’s name on the Center’s wait list as soon as is possible.  It is not uncommon for expectant parents to have their unborn child on the Center’s waiting list.  While most children begin their experience in the early fall with the start of the traditional academic year, the program may have unanticipated openings at any point during the year.  Families move, jobs change, families’ needs change and consequently, some openings occur at unanticipated times. 

To place your child’s name on the wait list:  Please email us at, providing the information listed below. (You may copy and paste this list into an email, and provide the answers.)

Child’s Name:
Date of Birth:
Boy or Girl:
Parents’ Name(s):
Best Phone(s) to reach you:
Which wait list(s) do you want to be on?:
Mary Johnson Children's Center?    
Middlebury Cooperative Nursery School (in East Middlebury)? 
Orwell Early Education Program?  
When do you want to start?:  ASAP?  Summer?   Fall?   What year?
# of days you prefer? (We enroll 3, 4 or 5 days):
Any special days needed?:
Any other information we should know?:

There is no fee or deposit for putting your child’s name on the waiting list.