Millbrook Early Childhood Education Center (MECEC) was founded to provide local families with access to a high-quality preschool program regardless of means. Founding donors were motivated by 50 years of research that demonstrated a high correlation between a quality preschool education and better outcomes across every major social, health and economic dimension as tracked over five decades in the lives of their subjects.

MECEC, our largest local early education institution, directly strengthens the vitality of our small towns. It supports our current young families while also welcoming new families who together will enrich our diverse community and support our local economy.

 MECEC has proudly provided our local community with:

  • The highest quality play-based curriculum.

  • A richly diverse student body reflecting the population of all of our local communities.

  • A safe and affirming learning environment which accepts and demonstrates mutual respect for every race, religion, class, nationality, gender, sexual orientation and learning styles.

  • A sliding tuition scale to enable all children to attend regardless of a families financial means.

  • An admissions process that welcomes all students on a first come first served basis.

  • A faculty that at all times have the necessary early education specific experience and training to excel in a play rich preschool classroom.

  • An Independently operated, non-denominational non-profit charter school dedicated to supporting all children and families in our community equally.


The Millbrook Early Childhood Education Center (MECEC) wants children to fall in love with learning. At MECEC children become active, engaged learners who take joy and satisfaction in "learning for learning's sake".

Our teachers cultivate the children's willingness to meet new challenges and to become respectful, caring friends of the school community and the world beyond.

In working with young children, we believe in the importance of play and discovery. We encourage the mastery of all the essential skills while cultivating strong and affirming friendships.

MECEC's strong commitment to early childhood celebrates the whimsy, enthusiasm, and joy that young children bring to their play and work.


We Promote:

  • A safe environment that nourishes and attends to the needs of the whole child.

  • Strong and affirming friendships to include values of empathy, collaboration, community and appreciation for differences.

  • Respect for the necessary balance of play and work in a child's school experience.

  • Strong working relationships between the home and school.


MECEC opened its doors as a half day preschool in the fall of 2007 for children ages two, three and four. MECEC was granted a License from the New York Department of Education to offer full-day preschool programs in January 2008 and full day programs commenced in the fall of 2008.


The Center welcomes children from many different backgrounds irrespective of nationality, race, religion or income. This enables parents and children alike to benefit from the rich diversity of the school.


MECEC was founded when the Hayes preschool in Millbrook was forced to close its doors due to financial insolvency. Hayes had run a full-service preschool for over 25 years ultimately serving over 70 children. Considered one of the best in the county, Hayes offered full and half-day programs, inclusion programs for children taking part in the county's early intervention services, as well as a host of special needs programs.


When Hayes School closed, a group of Hayes parents approached donors. They drew attention to the enormous economic and social costs to individuals, families and the community when all of the Hayes programs they had relied on were no longer available. Seed funds were raised and MECEC was formed with the express purpose of building a high-quality preschool to replace the wide range of programs and services that had been offered through Hayes.

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