Early Childhood Center

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Early Childhood Center

Northampton Public Schools Early Childhood Information

The Early Childhood Center is located at 40 Main Street, Suite 206, in Florence. Our mission is to support the families and young children of Northampton. Please call us at 413-587-1471 or email earlychildhood@northampton-k12.us with any questions – We are here for you and your children!

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During the school year, we support local parents in any way we can, with programs like:

  • Family fun events and parenting workshops
  • Daily morning playgroups Mon-Thurs in locations in Northampton, Florence or Hadley
  • Preschool and childcare support in Northampton both in the Northampton Public Preschool and with the Preschool Partnership, helping locate programs and connect to financial aid
  • Free toys and books through enrollment in the ParentChild+ Home Visiting Program
  • Developmental screening and support for children who are referred for evaluation for special services

During the summer, we run other playgroups and continue to support parents in any way we can.

Northampton Public Preschool (Mon-Thurs)

The Northampton Public Schools Preschool offers a half day (morning or afternoon) preschool program for 3- and 4-year old children who live in Northampton, Florence, and Leeds. There are limited 4-day full school day spaces for 4-year old children, chosen by lottery. 


The Early Childhood Program follows the Northampton Public School calendar.

  • Mon-Thurs (4-day) 1/2 day program either am or pm (3 or 4 years old):  2.5 hours/day
  • Mon-Thurs (4-day) full school day program (4 year old only):  6 hours/day (limited spaces)

We have preschool programs at both Bridge Street School and Leeds Elementary School. The program integrates children who are typically developing with those with special needs. This Northampton integrated preschool setting allows all children to participate to their fullest capacities in the mainstream of education. Special support services are provided within the classroom as needed.

Students whose street addresses place them at either Bridge Street School or Jackson Street School for K-5 attend the BSS preschool program. Students whose street addresses place them at either Leeds Elementary School or RK Finn Ryan Road Elementary School for K-5 attend the Leeds preschool program.

Please email us at earlychildhood@northampton-k12.us with any questions and to find out how to apply. You can download our Preschool Application below.

     Program Overview:

     Program Brochure:

     Preschool Application: If our program is full, children are placed on a waitlist based on when we receive the application.

1. Local Childcare & Preschool Options

There are many wonderful preschool options in Northampton and surrounding towns, with excellent long-standing daycare and preschool programs. For lists, including pointers to home daycares and how to apply for daycare vouchers, please click to download:

Our Preschool Partnership Coordinator Laura Frogameni is well-connected with these programs and has grant funds to support local families with a limited number of subsidized placements in our partnered community preschools. Please contact her by emailing lfrogameni@northampton-k12.us.

2. Our NPS Kindergarten Program

Please click this link for details about our Kindergarten Program and registration process.  If you have a child to register for kindergarten please call Desiree Cruz at 413-587-1328 or email her at dcruz@northampton-k12.us.

3. School-Year Morning Playgroups  — Mondays-Thursdays

These playgroups follow the Northampton Public Schools Calendar.  They are closed during school holidays and vacations, and on official snow days.

Northampton Parents Center:  Mon-Thurs 9:30-11:30, Sept-May

Hadley Family Playgroup of the Northampton/Hadley Family Connection:  Tuesdays 10:00-12:00, Sept-May

  • Children’s Room at the Hadley Public Library at 50 Middle Street, Hadley
  • For more information, please contact Facilitator Mandy Gerry at mgerry@northampton-k12.us

4. Northampton/Hadley Family Connection (CFCE)

The Northampton/Hadley Family Connection (located at the Northampton Early Childhood Center) supports services and activities for young children and families throughout the city and our wider community. This program directly funds and staffs groups and activities on this page— the ParentChild+ program, the Northampton Parents Center, and the Hadley Family Playgroup — as well as organizes Parent Cafes, informational workshops, and the Week of the Young Child celebration in April. We support transitions to kindergarten. During the school year, we also provide parent workshops on a variety of topics. Parent Workshop Topics have included: Routines, Transitions, Sleep, Behavior Management Strategies, and Eating. We are funded by a CFCE (Coordinated Family and Community Engagement) grant from the Massachusetts Dept. of Early Education and Care.

For more information, please check out our website at northamptonfamilies.com, or email our CFCE Coordinator Ashley Miller at asmiller@northampton-k12.us.  To sign up for our mail letters, please email earlychildhood@northampton-k12.us or fill out this form and email it to us.

5. ParentChild+ Home Visiting Program (PC+)

A home-based literacy, school readiness, and parenting program for Northampton and Hadley parents and their toddlers and preschoolers, which promotes learning and language development through the use of books and toys. ParentChild+ emphasizes verbal interaction and learning through play. Home Visitors help you to realize your role as your child’s first and most important teacher. They generate excitement about learning at home through toys, books, and play.

Did you know:

  • you are your child’s first and most important teacher
  • your home is your child’s first classroom
  • your child learns best through play
  • the more you read, speak, or sing to your child the better he or she will do in school

     Program Brochure and Application:

For more information, contact Mandy Gerry by emailing her at mgerry@northampton-k12.us .

6. Screenings for Child Development

Are you concerned about your child’s development? Northampton offers monthly developmental screenings for children 3-5 years old. Please contact Sara Allium, Preschool Evaluation Team Liaison, to set up an appointment by emailing sallium@northampton-k12.us.

7. Join our Mailchimp Mailing List!

We send out regular emails alerting you to fun events and parenting support in the area for families with small children.  If you would like to join our email list, or have an event you’d like local families to know about, please send us an email at earlychildhood@northampton-k12.us, or click here to fill out the form in English or en Espanol and either mail or email that to us.