Martha’s Vineyard offers a wide range of Early Childhood opportunities, from Preschool Centers to home-based Family Child Care programs. Programs are designed to encourage positive social interactions, social consciousness and respect for each other. While each environment is unique, they share the same goal: to provide young children with nurturing care, rich learning activities and community connection – while offering families a high-quality early childhood setting. All programs listed here are licensed by the Massachusetts Department of Early Education & Care.
Family Childcare Programs:
Contact: Natalie DeHaro
Small group, play-based program for ages 18 months and up.
I believe that children thrive with structure to their day, so we follow a daily schedule of indoor/outdoor activities. Our activities are focused on the interests of the children and the development of social and self-help skills, through PLAY.
Please contact me for more information or to schedule a visit.
Contact: Nancy Salon
Location: West Tisbury
Year-round schedule, ages 16 months – 5 years
Homey atmosphere. Fun, individualized & structured curriculum. Lots of hands-on activities including art, cooking, a fabulous outside playground, and interesting projects to pique children’s curiosity. I love helping them prepare for Kindergarten. Please reach out to make an appointment for a visit.
Location: West Tisbury
Year round schedule, 8AM – 4PM
Small-group, active & fun program for ages 3 months – 3 years!
We spend a lot of time outdoors, enjoying nature and playing. I offer many special activities for these age groups, and each child is nurtured with individual attention as well.
Please call for an appointment to meet for more information.
Contact: Beth Healy
Location: Vineyard Haven
Year-round schedule. Ages infant – 5 years
My goal is to provide a positive, loving, nurturing environment for a small multi-age group. Through a combination of guided activities and free play, children grow, learn and discover the world around them. Please call or email for more information.
Contact: Linda Coito
Location: Vineyard Haven
Open 8-4, Monday – Friday
A fun and active program for ages 18 months – 5 years. Our activities include crafting & baking & lots of active play. Beautiful wooded setting for outdoor games & nature experiences. Call for more information.
Contact: Donna Creighton
Location: Vineyard Haven
Small group Preschool program, encompassing methods of teaching that value the whole child. The program is child-centered, inquiry-based, and provides many hands-on learning experiences. Children have the opportunity to grow relationships as they learn through play in a relaxed environment. The small group size allows me to be flexible and follow the children’s individual interests. I work alongside the children, as a guide, asking open-ended questions to develop their thinking and reasoning skills. The curriculum follows learning guidelines from the “Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks”. My goal as their teacher, is to follow the interests of the children and expand upon those interests in order to fulfill curriculum goals while implementing “Best Practices”.
Contact: Mary Johnson
Have fun at Mimi’s house! Playroom, activities, wonderful outdoor playground. Children learn as they play in a mixed-age group, with a school-year curriculum filled with developmentally appropriate and FUN activities & projects. Summertime is POOL time, with “Mimi’s Minnows”:
6-week summer camp, including swim lessons & water games. Call Mary for more information.
Small group program in a loving, caring home. Our days are filled with activities including games, music, dancing and outdoor play. Please call Sandra to schedule a visit!
Programa de pequenos grupos emu ma casa amorosa e carinhosa. Nossos dias estao cheios de actividades, incluindo jogos, musica, danca e brincadeiras ao ar livre. Por favor, ligue para Sandra para agendar uma visita!
Contact: Luciana Almeida Silva
Open Monday – Saturday, 7AM-6PM
Small group program for children ages 3 months – 4 years.
I provide a peaceful environment with different games and activities aimed at the physical, mental and emotional well-being of each child. Please call to schedule a visit.
Programa de pequenos grupos parar crianças de 3 meses a 4 anos. Eu forneço um ambiente tranquilo com diferentes jogos e atividades voltadas para o bem-estar físico mental e emocional de cada criança. Por favor, ligue para agendar uma visita.
For more information about Family Child Care, or if you are interested in becoming a Family Child Care Provider – please contact:
MV Child Care Network Coordinator
Each preschool program offers a unique philosophy. More details and contact information is provided below
Chilmark Preschool believes that it is essential to create a physical and social environment that promotes respect for all, a positive learning atmosphere and a safe place where children are valued as individuals. Children are viewed as competent, curious and creative. It is their genuine enthusiasm for learning about the world around them that drives our curriculum. The daily activities at Chilmark Preschool reflect these values and visions.
8 State Road, P.O. Box 425, Chilmark
508-645-2562, X 110
Contact: Ursula Costin
A nature preschool located at Mass Audubon’s Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary in Edgartown, Fern & Feather supports children’s individual growth and innate curiosity through nature-based learning and discovery. Our emergent curriculum grows from the interests of the children, ages 2.9-5, immersed in a diversity of ecosystems and explored through the lenses of science, math, early literacy, and social/emotional understanding.
100 Felix Neck Drive
Edgartown, MA 02539
Preschool Director: Ryan Ofsthun
Fern & Feather Preschool Webpage
First Light strives to offer the highest quality of care and education for toddlers and preschoolers. They believe all children are thinkers, researchers, and problem-solvers. The program revolves around valuing relationships, open dialogue, play and collaboration, which First Light believes supports the development of strong relationships between all members of the community.
66 Williams Street, P.O. Box 4623, Vineyard Haven
Contact: Elizabeth Bonifacio, Director
Garden Gate is a small, non-profit preschool and toddler center, offering full and part-time school-year programs and a summer program. Their philosophy and program goals have been influenced by the approach to early childhood education originating in the infant/toddler centers and preschools in Reggio Emilia, Italy, based on the principles of respect, responsibility, and community.
119 West Spring Street, Box 2666, Vineyard Haven
Contacts: Leigh Ann Yuen and Dawn Warner
Island Children’s School strives to meet the needs of the whole child through a dynamic, emergent curriculum. Teachers are attuned to each child’s needs and interests, and support individual growth through a variety of classroom activities that consider the physical, cognitive, and socio-emotional facets of learning.
Martha’s Vineyard Community Services Early Education and Care Center is a nationally accredited play-based full-day year-round program serving children 6 months – 5 years. The indoor environment and two spacious playgrounds are creatively designed to encourage hands-on exploration and discovery. The curriculum, which is tailored to the individual needs and interests of the children, supports the development of age appropriate social and problem-solving skills, the arts, physical development, social studies and STEM activities – science, technology, engineering and math. The curriculum also supports English
Martha’s Vineyard Community Services
111 Edgartown Road, Oak Bluffs
Contact: 508-693-7900 x280
Project Headway is a play-based preschool program that serves children ages three to five with and without disabilities. The children participate in a typical preschool schedule that includes activities such as circle, small and large group activities, gross motor play, fine motor opportunities, music, science, manipulatives, and art. The curriculum focuses on communication skills, social skills, and encouraging children to learn through play in both teacher and child-directed activities. The program is designed to meet the needs of all children through developmentally appropriate activities. Field trips are also taken throughout the year to support thematic units and utilize local resources.
Old County Road, West Tisbury Elementary School
Mailing Address: 4 Pine Street, Vineyard Haven
Contact: Jen Royal
At Plum Hill, we are inspired by Waldorf educational philosophy to nurture the pure creative play by which children do their most profound learning. We provide simple, natural materials to engage the child’s imagination and fine art resources to foster artistic expression. Fairy tales, told by heart, puppet plays, and music weave beauty into the daily rhythm. Children help tend the garden, bake the bread, mend the toys. Much of the child’s day is spent exploring the world of nature in the fields and farms. We celebrate the changing seasons with songs, crafts, and family festivals. By our example, we encourage reverence for all life, enthusiasm for work, compassion for each other.
Rainbow Place offers an individualized program to a mixed age-group of preschool children. We provide a rich social environment which helps develop self-confidence and strong communication skills. Children choose from specially planned activities or learning centers, moving from small to large group activities throughout the day. Our curriculum evolves from careful observations of children, their many ideas, and interests. Included in our learning experiences are field trips to local businesses and places of interest, special guests, and cultural activities. Learning at Rainbow Place is an active experience for all children.
34 Anthiers Way, Edgartown
Contact: Cindy Andrews
Embracing the philosophies of Dr. Maria Montessori, Vineyard Montessori School provides a carefully planned, stimulating environment which helps children develop within themselves the foundational habits, attitudes, skills, and ideas which are essential for a lifetime of creative thinking and learning. Children learn at their own speed in a prepared environment according to their own speed in a prepared environment according to their own capacities and in a non-competitive atmosphere.
286 Main Street, Box 994, Vineyard Haven
Serving children preschool through 6th grade
Contact: Debbie Jernegan, Head of School
Frequently Asked Questions
It is a daunting idea to be seeking child care even before your child is born. However, as soon as you have a plan for return to work or a need for care, it is advised to start looking at the options.
There will be many factors when considering a right fit for your child & your family. Visit programs and consider your families’ needs in terms of hours of operation, your child’s temperament and learning style.
While every licensed program is required to meet standards of quality and safety, there are different educational philosophies about the best way to foster children’s growth & development. For information about a program’s philosophy (i.e. Regio Emilio, Waldorf, Montessori) please ask the individual programs.
Each program has its own registration process. As you are exploring programs, be sure to ask about registration. Some programs have immediate openings or registration. Other programs have waiting lists or may require deposits.
CHILD CARE NETWORK OF THE CAPE & ISLANDS
Funding for income eligible families through a voucher system. 1.888.530.2430. At the current time, Martha’s Vineyard Community Services is the only program on island that accepts these vouchers
BAILEY BOYD ASSOCIATES
Community Development Building Grants (CDBG) program, including childcare subsidy program. 508.430.4499
Contact Carol Bergen: Carol@baileyboyd.com
This funding is accepted at various center based programs and family childcare programs.