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Peterborough child care center needs new home

PETERBOROUGH — The Pine Hill Child Care Center, which will be leaving its quarters at ConVal High School at the end of the school year, has a new name but still no home.

“We’ve formed a new nonprofit, called A Child’s Nature — Care and Education,” said the center’s director, Peggy Waterhouse, last week. “We have a skeletal board, trying to balance between current parents, current teachers and community members. We’re really looking for people who understand the importance of having quality child care in the community.”

Waterhouse said she’s trying to make people aware that the center, which serves about 40 infants, toddlers and preschooler in a Waldorf-style program, needs to find new space if it is to continue.

“It’s important that we dispel the myths that all these children will be OK,” Waterhouse said. “Some people think we are being absorbed by Pine Hill. Others think we’d be absorbed by the new program at Peterborough Elementary School. Neither of those is actually going to happen.”

Pine Hill School in Wilton will be establishing a new day-care program in Wilton, which will be separate from A Child’s Nature. The proposed program at the elementary school, which is included in the ConVal budget that will be voted on next week, would be just for three-year-old and four-year-old preschoolers.

“Our children are here for a full day. We serve working families,” Waterhouse said. “A program in Wilton is too far away for them.”

Waterhouse said the center will be at ConVal until July 1, but parents will soon start looking at their options for day care after that.

“I want the community to understand what is about to happen,” she said. “We may lose the spaces for these children. The parents have committed to staying together for two months. A lot of people say they’ll help renovate, once we have a space. People are offering to do what they can.”

Waterhouse said she has looked at several buildings in Peterborough that have space available, but hasn’t yet found something that would suit the program’s needs.

“We have an outdoor-based center,” she said. “Getting outside is a critical part of our program.”

She said her top priority now is to build awareness and support.

“We need community members to step forward and rally for the care that our children are getting in order to make it happen,” Waterhouse said. “We need business minded people to help with a business plan and fundraisers who can help us find seed money.”

Waterhouse said anyone interested in helping may contact her at 924-6620 or by email at phcc@pinehill.org.

Dave Anderson can be reached at 924-7172, ext. 233 or danderson@ledgertranscript.com. He’s on Twitter at @DaveAndersonMLT.

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