By Polly Mikula
WOODSTOCK—The 4 STARS accredited preschool and daycare program, purchased what used to be known as the old Mt. Tom School, located at 281 North Barnard Road, on Oct. 29. It plans to transfer to the new location from its current site at the Little Theater in the fall of 2019.
This new location will provide enough space to double Rainbow Playschool’s enrollments for both the 18 month to 2-year-old classroom and the 2- to 3-year-old classrooms. With the expansion, the school is also launching its first 6-week to 18-month infant care program.
Founded in 1992, it is one of only two daycares and preschool programs in the area offering year-round 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday programming.
Of its unique value position, the expansion proposal states: “There is a lack of access to high-quality and affordable child care in Vermont. There are very few options for families with dual incomes… Rainbow Playschool has been offering play based quality programming for over 30 years. We are a part of the Woodstock community. Our staff is known and trusted by many families and educators. Our families appreciate the flexible work day that includes multi-age experiences, field trips, enriching projects and community collaborations with organizations such as Merten’s House, VINS and the Normal Williams Public Library.
“Expanding our programming to offer birth to kindergarten will fill a need for young families moving to the area, families with upcoming siblings, and transitioning families. We provide a safe, fun and nourishing place for their children, led by a team of trained, accredited professionals.”
The new 7,000 square foot building, will also house a two-bedroom residential rental, three office spaces rentals on the second and third floors, and a community room that can be rented by the hour on nights and weekends.
The Playschool received a $50,000 grant from the state, which was contingent on a matching donation it subsequently received. The board of directors are now in the process of submitting an ambitious number of grants to further meet the programs needs, to bring the building up to commercial code and “to create a more magical aesthetic for our young ones to thrive,” as they state on the playschool’s website. The school is also accepting donation or in-kind donations for lumber and building materials, lighting, playground equipment, fencing and flooring.
Rainbow Playschool has partnered with Sundeavor and the Energy Committee to launch a Community Solar Project on its parking lot carports and hillside. The school will have 100kW of solar available for purchase (enough for approximately 17 homes). “If your location isn’t appropriate for roof mounted solar, please consider buying into our community array!” The board suggests on its website. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.