Early education is the foundation for the development of emotional and intellectual security in children starting at age 2. Increasingly, there are new and different approaches to meeting this challenge.
Exploring the different areas of social involvement, learning and self-esteem building toward the emergence of fully formed personalities is the focus of the newly developed Rosemont Early Learning Center, 12 Rosemont Road.
“We strive to create a safe, nurturing, and developmentally appropriate environment that fosters positive self-esteem building, confidence, and allows children to take risks in their learning,” said Ann Marie Croteau, owner/director of the “coming soon” center.
Of course, that coming soon comes with an asterisk.
“The Department for Early Education and Care (DEEC) requires a childcare center to have three months of operating cost in the bank before they will issue a license to a new center,” said Croteau, whose business plan calls for $25,000 to start, half of which she is crowdfunding. “I thought if I was able to receive some or half of that amount then I could pursue a traditional loan to make the difference.”
Croteau’s GoFundMe page has a goal of $12,500. It is an open-ended campaign with $375 in donations as of midday Saturday, April 2.
“I believe that it is important to give students opportunities to learn and gain experience within the community,” she said. “We will invite local colleges to come and observe our center after it opens. It would be wonderful if they would place students to do their observation hours or student practicums.”
With degrees in early childhood education from Becker College and multidisciplinary studies from Cambridge College, according to her website, Croteau swears by the impact of early learning centers in the lives of children. Having worked as a teacher in preschools for more than 30 years, she understands the value of providing every child enrolled with a quality early childhood experience.
“I feel that opening a center for 20 young children ages 2.9 years of age to 6 years of age is important to the community. Our mission is to provide every child enrolled with a high quality early childhood experience.
“My heart has always been in preschool. Opening Rosemont Early Learning Center is my dream,” she said.
The required startup capital doesn’t appear likely to deter Croteau.
“When a center first opens it usually does not have a high enrollment and the enrollment is what usually covers all costs, therefore the capital startup is needed for rent, heat, electric, snacks for the children, furniture and all materials necessary to open the center. The DEEC will not issue the license to open if the capital is not proven,” she said.
The property at 12 Rosemont Road, minutes from Forest Grove Middle School and Chadwick Square, is owned by Croteau’s family. This venture has, indeed, become a family business, including help from her sister and brother-in-law through the renovation process and the leasing of the space.
“My oldest daughter is attending Quinsigamond Community College for Early Childhood Education and will teach at Rosemont Early Learning Center when it opens,” Croteau said.
Croteau is originally from Spencer, but as a previous Worcester resident and an employee of Worcester-based preschools, it is hard for Croteau to cut ties with The Woo. Working in a city and surrounding area that is home to 13 colleges and universities, Croteau has the unique opportunity to present the Rosemont Early Learning Center to an array of students in higher education and enhance the collaboration between graduating students and early learners.
“Teachers plant the seeds of knowledge that last a lifetime” is a philosophy espoused on the center’s website, and it is also evident in Croteau’s mission as described on the site:
“Through guided discovery and hands-on learning, children will be involved in a fully integrated curriculum. Learning activities in literacy, science, math, creative arts, social science, and history are embedded throughout the day.”
Check out the progress on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rosemontearlylearning
Or visit the website: www.rosemontearlylearning.com