Harbor House Children's Center
Harbor House Children's Center, the first licensed childcare center on Mount Desert Island, has been serving the families of our Island community since 1985. We provide quality care and early education for children ages 18 months, including those who are still in diapers to 5 years, whose parents live or work on MDI. The Children’s Center is open 51 weeks a year, including snow days, school vacations and most teacher workshop days.
Whether it is playing with Legos, sharing a story with a cuddly friend or enjoying the fresh air in our large, natural PlayGarden, Harbor House Children’s Center provides a quality early care and education experience that will give your child a combination of guidance and freedom to grow and learn.
Our literacy based program is based on the State of Maine Early Childhood Learning & Infant Toddler Guidelines. We balance structured activities and free play so children can learn in the way they learn best - playing, exploring and having fun. Our goal is to provide the best care, help build a foundation of skills, and nurture a love of learning that will last a lifetime. We pride ourselves in the support we provide families for a successful transition to kindergarten.
Our spacious, light-filled classrooms and natural PlayGarden provide a wonderful learning environment for all ages. Whether creating a finger painting, listening to a story, growing vegetables in our garden or fishing from our child-sized lobster boat, the Children’s Center will nurture your child’s imagination, curiosity and excitement about learning.
Children's Center Rates
Toddler Program: $185.00
Age 18-38 months, 5 days a week
Preschool Program: $170.00
Age 3 until Kindergarten, 5 days a week
Registration Fee: $35.00
Children's Center Staff
Mary Ellen Martel
Toddler Room Teachers:
Preschool Room Teachers:
Josh Ingram Aime LeTarte
Pre-K Room Teacher
Recognizing the need for quality care for all ages, we offer a toddler program for children ages 18 to 36 months. We are one of the few centers in Hancock County whose entire staff has trained in the State of Maine Infant/Toddler Guidelines. For families with little ones this means that our Ladybugs Toddler Program is based on current best practice and is developmentally appropriate. Headed by Crystal Noyes, each child will be nurtured, challenged, entertained and cuddled. We want to provide a wonderful home away from home for your child, so that you can face your work day secure in the knowledge that your child is safe, happy and learning.
During the school year the Children’s Center is abuzz with activity as our Busy Bees and Dragonflies play and learn.
Based on Maine’s Early Learning Guidelines, you can feel confident that in addition to terrific childcare, your child will experience a developmentally appropriate preschool program that will build the foundation for a lifelong love of learning.
Busy Bees, our 3 and 4 year olds, are new to the circle time experience. Our teachers understand how this age learns and they provide a morning rich in language, literacy, exploration and fun. Songs, finger plays, books, art and outdoor play are regular parts of the day. Our Busy Bees are truly busy, learning about themselves and the world around them.
Our Dragonflies are ready to spread their wings and fly on soon to kindergarten. These are our “big kids”; they are ready to take on the world and our teachers are ready to guide them as they take flight. Dragonfly circle time is similar to kindergarten. These children are ready to learn and our teachers provide the themes and activities to excite them. Our natural PlayGarden is the perfect outdoor classroom for studying insects, birds, butterflies, seasons and more. Field trips throughout our community provide a rich sense of our local culture and an appreciation for our neighbors. We work closely with our schools to assure that our Dragonflies are ready for their transition to kindergarten. Weekly visits from our "5th grade buddies" not only provide an additional literacy experience, but a link to the "Big School" as well. Moving on to elementary school is not nearly as scary when you already have friends there!
Afternoons at the Center are quiet with naps for those who need them and quiet activities for others. Following a very social afternoon snack, our Busy Bees and Dragonflies enjoy free play, outdoors whenever possible, until it is time to go home.