DARIEN, Conn. -- Maureen Bloom's Playdates is celebrating 20 years of at-home play school programs in Darien.
Maureen Bloom’s Playdates seeks to create a natural transition for toddlers from being at home to being in a traditional preschool. Each class has two trained teachers with six to eight students ages 18 to 36 months. Classes rotate among the children’s homes on a biweekly or monthly basis, and meet two or three times per week.
"Playdates has maintained its focus on socialization and communication while introducing children to their first preschool experience," a press release said. "With 15 classes throughout Darien, New Canaan, and Rowayton, and soon Greenwich, it’s clear the approach works."
Bloom launched Playdates in 1994 with three teachers and two classes.
“Families love that Playdates has this magical combination of consistency in classmates and teachers, and variety with a rotating cycle of homes," she said. "There are always new toys, creative experiences, and outdoor adventures to explore. We take advantage of the unique characteristics of each property, whether it has an apple orchard, is near a beach, or is a short walk from a nature sanctuary. If the family has unusual pets, they get worked into the curriculum, too."
Bloom was awarded the Darien YWCA “Women of Distinction” honor in recognition of her service and value to the community. Bloom said Playdates’ teachers are a big reason that the number of classes has expanded, according to a release.
“All of our teachers are mothers with impressive college educations, but they also have a special quality of earning the children’s and parents’ trust," she said. "Our teachers stay with us for many years and share my devotion to early education, family, and service. We work together as partners with the Playdates’s families.”
Playdates’ offices are at 80 Raymond St. in Darien. Information about and registration forms can be found at the Maureen Bloom's Playdates website .