Our Mission


CLC enriches the community as the leader in early childhood development by providing comprehensive, high-quality early childhood education and care programs for all families.

Our Vision

Our vision is to ensure to every child in the greater Stamford area access to a quality, early childhood education and a “head start” in the pursuit of a shared American dream. We achieve this by cooperating, collaborating, and coordinating with our community social service agencies. We work to be more efficient and more productive in the face of declining governmental resources and in developing community support to provide best in class early childhood programming.

Ensuring that children’s medical, nutritional, physical, and emotional needs are addressed allows for an optimal learning experience that closes the achievement gap between disadvantaged and advantaged children.

Our Values

Our children are our reason for being and our parents are our partners. They are our priority in all that we do.

We value and respect all our children and families by celebrating their differences and showing appreciation for their unique gifts and contributions.

We engage our children and families with candor, honesty, and compassion.

We promote learning, fun, work, and play in our organization; we celebrate our successes, admit our mistakes, and learn from both.

The CLC Story

Steward W. Smith established CLC in 1902 as the Stamford Day Nursery to care for working families’ children. Mrs. Smith, also CLC’s first president, worked with of a group of prominent citizens that included U.S. Representative Schuyler Merritt, for whom the Merritt Parkway is named.

CLC’s first home was a rented house on Greyrock Place. Since then, the organization has grown dramatically and now serves 1,500 children and their families daily.

From its earliest history, CLC has been at the forefront of developing and providing high-quality early childhood education programs. CLC was one of the first programs in the nation to achieve the Academy for Early Childhood Program Accreditation standards. The organization continues to receive the highest ratings.

CLC’s early traditions continue today in its holistic approach to childcare and education, as well as its governance by a committed local volunteer board of directors. Its caring professional education and management staff works in partnership with other community organizations.