A History of The Children’s Room
The Children’s Room (a 501c3 officially named The Early Education Resource Center of Waterbury), opened its doors in 1984. The program was the brainchild of teachers and administrators of Waterbury Elementary School (now Thatcher Brook Primary School), parents, childcare providers, and community leaders who got together and decided what Waterbury families most needed for their young children was a dedicated free place for children, parents and caregivers to meet up, play, socialize, and learn about resources and information for parenting and caregiving. The school offered a classroom, free of rent, for The Children’s Room.
Our room is open during school hours as a free drop-in play space where families, care providers and development specialists are welcome to bring their babies and young children to use the toys, books, craft materials and play equipment.
Volunteers and a part-time coordinator organize free events, classes, regular playgroups and other activities through the month, and maintain a lending library and bulletin boards full of resources and information. Families join us as they can – dropping in for a weekly playgroup, or attending a bigger weekend event, like our community Halloween Party in the school gym. Over the past decades, we have expanded our reach and served thousands of young children and their caregivers from the surrounding area, from Middlesex to Fayston and Stowe to Barre.
During the Covid pandemic, The Children’s Room’s in-person programs at TBPS are temporarily suspended. We’ve pivoted to offering online resources such as virtual storytimes and Zoom discussions for parents and caregivers. As safety guidance allows, we also offer outdoor gatherings such as nature exploration playgroups and stroller strolls. The Children’s Room will continue working for families with young children in these ways, virtually and in small groups outdoors, as a hub of information and social and emotional support, until the pandemic lifts.