In the spring of 1975, a group of people committed to establishing the first day care center in Concord came together to discuss their ideas. This group crafted a vision of a preschool and program that would meet the needs of children, support working families, and be based on the concept that young children learn through active involvement with their world. Within a few months, this vision had become a reality, and Concord Children’s Center opened its doors in September 1975 at the Harvey Wheeler building in West Concord.
CCC opened with preschool and afterschool programs, adding a group for 2-year-olds the first year it was open and an infant program in 1986. To accommodate these expanding programs as well as increasing student numbers, CCC opened a second site at Ripley on the east side of Concord in 1981, and a third location across from Emerson Hospital in 1986. In 2001, as a result of CCC needing to move out of its home at the Harvey Wheeler building to allow for the expansion of town programs there, CCC began construction of a purpose-built facility in West Concord. This project included a successful three-year capital campaign, which raised almost $1 million. The West Concord location opened in 2002 and is the largest of CCC’s three locations.
Today, CCC serves more than 200 children and their families. CCC has grown to be an important part of the town of Concord and a local leader in early childhood care and education. But the basis of CCC’s programs today is the same as it was in 1975: a curriculum based on children’s innate curiosity and creativity; a staff of professionally trained early childhood educators who believe that educating young children is a partnership between parents and teachers; and an awareness of the importance of nature-based play. The young children who started with CCC in 1975 are now in their 40s, and CCC is still living its vision—a vision from which hundreds of families in Concord and neighboring towns have benefited and continue to benefit.