120th Anniversary

Head Start

CLC opened its doors in 1902 as Stamford Day Nursery. It was founded as part of the Settlement House Movement and was run by ‘women of manor houses’ to provide child care services to immigrants (influx from Ireland).

During World War II, a second center was opened to accommodate working mothers in the defense industry. In 1965, the Stamford Head Start Program began serving families and in 1969, the Stamford Day Care Program began with a grant from the City of Stamford as part of the state funded day care center initiative that focused on working poor families.

In 1972, the agency changed its name to Child Care Center of Stamford. Inc. and the following year moved the headquarters to the current location at 64 Palmers Hill Road.

In October, 1997, the School Readiness Program began with 96 children at Stark School, Coretta King, Chester Addison and Yerwood Day Care Centers and in October, 1998 the Early Head Start Program opened.

In January, 1999 the Hillandale Child Development Center opened with 350 slots. In September, 1999, School Readiness opened in the Stillmeadow Elementary School.

In May, 2002 Mayor Dannel Malloy announced an agency name change to Childcare Learning Centers. Then in 2016, the name was changed to Children’s Learning Centers.

CLC’s History in Photos

On October 26, 1973, CLC broke ground on our Palmers Hill location which replaced our facility at 177 Broad Street! Here, Jeanne Ellis supervised some of the children at the groundbreaking.

Former CT Governor Dannel Malloy reading to students at CLC in 2004 when he was Mayor of Stamford!

In 2016 our students took a field trip to the Bruce Museum with our friends from Edgehill!

In 1977, children at what was then Child Care Center posed on a new treehouse built by students J.M. Wright Technical High School!

The Nursery House at 163 Greyrock Place during the 1926-1927 school year!

Potluck Supper!

1972 – 1973 school year

1935 – 1936 school year

Spring playtime outdoors in 1996!

Walking outside in 1996!

1936 – 1937 school year!

Summer 2013 at CLC

The toothbrush drill for the older kids at Stamford Day Nursery during the 1926-1927 school year!

Field trip to Stew Leonard’s!

1935-1936 school year at Stamford Day Nursery!

The babies at Stamford Day Nursery during the 1931-1932 school year enjoying gifted toys!

Students wearing dresses they made themselves during the 1931-1932 school year!

Fall of the 2021 – 2022 school year!

August 1972

1972 – 1973 school year

The children’s hard work during the Stamford Day Nursery 1931-1932 school year!


Playgroung time, 1972-1973 school year

Stamford Day Nursery Illustration, 1931-1932 school year

1972-1973 class photo


1972-1973 school year

On the playground, 1924

Parents, children & teachers, 1972-1973 school year

Lunchtime, 1996

August 1972

Naptime, 1931-1932

Woodworking, 1972-1973

Time on the playground in 1969!

CLC Champions

We are recognizing a CLC Champion each month who has helped to bring us to where we are today!

CLC is recognizing The Rotary Club of Stamford as our
December CLC Champion!

The Rotary Club is an important partner and donor, providing grants to support critical operating needs.

Over the past 5 years, The Rotary Club of Stamford has generously provided thousands of winter coats for CLC children in need. Rotary donated 400 winter coats valued at approximately $8,800 in 2022 alone! Rotarians order, sort and label the coats to prepare them for distribution to CLC’s eight locations.

CLC honored Edgehill, a Benchmark Lifecare Community with special thanks to Joan Weisman & Karen Joelson as our November CLC Champions.
Joan and Karen have led Edgehill residents – our CLC Palmers Hill neighbors – in an intergenerational partnership that has spanned at least a decade. Edgehill residents visit CLC classrooms to read, knit hats each winter, and support various volunteer projects. Residents also make donations and have purchased books for CLC classrooms.
Before COVID, we had a combined field trip to the Bruce Museum in Greenwich. It was the first time on a school bus for some CLC students and Edgehill residents!
During COVID, residents continued to knit hats, purchase books and support CLC even though they couldn’t visit classrooms. We look forward to welcoming Edgehill residents back to our classrooms in 2023!
CLC is recognizing Dr. Sharon White
as our October CLC Champion!
As the former Director of UCONN Stamford, Dr. White understands the importance of education and quickly made the connection between the value of a high quality early childhood education to higher education and success as adults.
Dr. White has always been willing to help CLC and is now serving as our Leadership Council Chair and playing an important role in strengthening our organization and fundraising. 

“I have worked in higher education for many years and am now involved at the “front end” of the formal educational continuum,
the beginning. The significant work of the CLC staff, including the simultaneous education of parents, the importance of emotional development, and the dedication of its teachers all combine to
offer an impressive early childhood learning experience for our preschoolers. I am happy to engage with and support
such excellence!”

Dr. Sharon J. White
Former UConn Stamford Director
Educational Consultant
Chair, CLC Leadership Council

Our sincere thanks to Dr. Sharon White for all of her support!
We are recognizing Marsha Shendell as our August CLC Champion!
Marsha is a longtime supporter of CLC. She says, “The children and parents who come to CLC are very special. It’s my joy and pleasure to be able to contribute to CLC’s ability to care for and educate all of these children!”

Thank you to Marsha for her years of support!

Pitney Bowes has been one of CLC’s most steadfast supporters for decades. Over the years, Pitney Bowes has provided an important voice for early childhood education, their senior team members have served as board chairs and on board committees, and hundreds of Pitney Bowes employees have volunteered to support special projects such as kindergarten backpacks, STEAM education enrichment efforts, and CLC Reading Heroes!

Significantly, the Pitney Bowes Foundation has provided consistent financial support for key programs, including its most recent $100,000 grant for CLC’s Head Start Extended Day program.
CLC relies on donations and volunteers to help fulfill our mission and we’re especially grateful for the decades-long commitment that Pitney Bowes leadership and employees have made to CLC.

We’re proud to honor Pitney Bowes and its employees as our September CLC

We are recognizing Julia von Schilling as our July CLC Champion!
We are recognizing Julia von Schilling as our July CLC Champion!
February’s CLC Champions are both beloved teachers who have each been with CLC for more than 40 years!
Brenda Robinson has been with CLC for 45 years and teaches at CLC Palmers Hill.
Mary Catherine Herbert has been with CLC for 42 years and teaches at CLC William Pitt.
Thank you to Brenda and Mary Catherine for your dedication to CLC and for transforming the lives of so many of our students!

January’s CLC Champion is Jane Norgren! Jane served as Executive Director of CLC for more than 20 years. During that time, she was instrumental in driving quality programming and expansion.

With so many wonderful memories of her time at CLC, Jane says she can’t possibly pick a favorite. But she says, “I always LOVED when the children performed: holidays, annual meetings, galas, etc. Swiss Bank employees once gave Palmers Hill a circus for a day, complete with animals, streamers, clowns, music and carriage rides! Even the groundbreaking for William Pitt was terrific! I also could have jumped with joy when the Board backed me in expansion and building alterations! City involvement was always prominent in these endeavors.”

Thank you Jane for your dedication to CLC!

120 Readers

CLC is excited to celebrate 120 years of caring, nurturing and educating our community’s young children!

As part of the celebration, we will host 120 readers in 2022!

There is no better way to celebrate our history and foster a love of reading than sharing a good book!

Guest Readers

Marc Jaffe, CLC CEO
Anna Witkowski, CLC Chief Education Officer
Stefanie Horn, CLC Marketing Manager
Gina Atanasoff, CLC
Lorna Peart, CLC Manager, Benefits & Human Resource Administration
Marc Teichman, CLC Director of Human Resources
Phyllis DiFrancia, Director of School Readiness at CLC
Beth Genovese, Education Manager of School Readiness Programs at CLC
Dori Walker, Instructional Coordinator
Jane Norgren, Former CLC Executive Director
Emily Kroenlein, Friend of CLC
Bob Mattis, Chairman of the CLC Board of Directors
Jennifer Hallissey, Director of Strategic Partnerships
Ernie Fleishman, CLC Board of Directors
Betty Davila, Instructional Coordinator
Ceci Maher, Leadership Council
Nicole Green, Education Coordinator at WP
Pam Geiger, Teacher Development Manager
David Martin, former Stamford Mayor
Marsha Guthrie, Head Start Director
Stamford Mayor Caroline Simmons
Alice Knapp Ferguson Library, CEO
Ellen Mellis, CLC Board Member & long time friend
Cheryl Vallejo, CLC Nurse