Mary Johnson Children's Center
81 Water Street
Middlebury, Vermont 05753
Fax: (802) 388-3063
As a school, we believe in making visible and giving voice to the rich potential and talent of children, and in the right of all children to have an environment where this talent and potential is respected and nourished. In 1970 a group of concerned Middlebury residents decided the community needed a safe, supportive program for the children of families who need to work outside the home. They wanted to ensure that children, particularly the children of struggling single mothers were being well cared for. The Middlebury Day Care Center was created as one of the earliest full day, full year programs for working parents in Vermont. Now known as Mary Johnson Children’s Center, the Center also houses several other programs which support children and families; remaining true to the goals of its founders, the renovated and expanded building reflects our belief in the importance of beauty, light and natural materials in the surroundings and lives of young children. The families who use the center represent the range of economic diversity found in our community.
Nestled in the historic district of the shire town of Middlebury at the base of the Green mountains, and near Otter Creek and its falls, we take much of our inspiration from our natural surroundings, from the local culture, and the state identity. We are a hardy, outdoor people with a love of the land. We are farmers, gardeners, artists and writers; hard working people who take care of each other in times of need. The beauty of our natural surroundings and the changes wrought on them by the seasons is a source of inspiration not only for the teachers, but also for the parents and children who make up our school.
The programs are not conventional or fixed but support the importance of play and evolve depending on the interests of children, teachers and families. We believe that all parents are the experts on their children and want what’s best for them. We believe that teachers are collaborators, researchers, and nurturers who are dedicated to supporting children and parents. We believe in the extraordinary capability and intelligence of children. We believe in a child’s ability to construct their own knowledge. As a school we believe in making visible and giving voice to the rich potential and talent of children, and in the right of all children to have an environment where this talent and potential is respected and nourished.