Early Childhood

Norwalk Early Childhood

In 2008 the City of Norwalk established an Early Childhood Office staffed by the Early Childhood Coordinator and the School Readiness Liaison. The Early Childhood Coordinator serves as a resource to all early care and education programs in Norwalk, center-based and family childcare. They maintain a directory of all center-based programs in Norwalk English or Spanish and publishes a monthly flyer with childcare openings in all settings. They are also available to families with young children who are looking for resources including early care and education programs. 

City of Norwalk-Early Childhood Coordinator - Mary Oster
moster@norwalkct.gov or (203)854-4148

The Early Childhood Coordinator also monitors early care and education programs funded by the Child Day Care contract grant from the state as well as the Head Start program that receives city funding. They maintain a network of little libraries in Norwalk at various locations including the Norwalk Health Dept., the Norwalk Green, laundromats, barbershops and early care and education programs. See a listing of the little libraries here: Residents are welcome to take books from any little library in Norwalk. Neighborhood Library Exchange | Norwalk Public Library Services - Official Website (norwalkpl.org) You can also request information and a Free Book for Kids Ages 0-5 by using the QR code or clicking on the picture below:
Free Book for Children ages 0-5 Flyer Opens in new window
The coordinator is a member of the Norwalk Early Childhood Collaborative, the Norwalk ACTS Implementation Team and the Norwalk ACTS Early Childhood Development Initiative. They also advocate on behalf of Norwalk’s Early Care and Education community through statewide organizations including the Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance (CT Early Childhood Alliance) and Child Care for Connecticut’s Future (Home | Child Care for CT).

Please call the Coordinator at 203.854.4148 with questions about available services and resources for families with young children as well as options for early care and education.  



Why is early childhood so important

Early Childhood and Why it’s so Important

  • The first five years of a child’s life are the most critical for brain development.   Parents are their child’s first teacher and can help build their baby’s brain!  Serve and Return Interaction Shapes Brain Circuitry (harvard.edu)
  •  It’s never too early to start reading and talking to your baby.  You can even start before your baby is born!  Talking to your baby in the language that you’re most comfortable with builds your baby’s brain and develops a strong attachment with her.  Tell her what you’re doing as you’re doing it.  Your baby loves the sound of your voice.   You can read to your baby or tell a story with the pictures, all in the language that you’re most comfortable with.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KNrnZag17Ek&t=6s

Prenatal Care and Tips

Prenatal Care and Tips

Prenatal (Before Your Child is Born)

  • Prenatal Healthcare:  Prenatal care—the medical care you get during pregnancy—is very important to make sure you and your growing baby stay healthy. For more information about prenatal care, visit: https://www.marchofdimes.org/pregnancy/prenatal-care.aspx . If you are looking for a health care provider in Norwalk, you can visit https://www.211ct.org or call the Norwalk Community Health Center at 203-851-1000.
  • If you are pregnant and don’t have health insurance, please see this information about HUSKY-B Prenatal Coverage- Insurance and Paying for Care (ct.gov)
  • WIC: The Women, Infants, & Children (WIC) program provides nutrition education and counseling, breast feeding promotion and support, nutritious foods, and help in accessing community resources. In Norwalk, the WIC program is located at the Health Department. For more information, visit: https://www.norwalkct.org/768/Women-Infants-Children-WIC

building your child’s brain

Building Your Child’s Brain

Help your baby or young child’s brain development by supporting the Five Developmental Domains:

  1. Communication: Child’s language skills, both what a child understands and what he or she can say.
  2. Gross Motor: How a child uses their arms and legs and other large muscles for sitting, crawling, walking, running, and other activities.
  3. Fine Motor: A child’s hand and finger movement and coordination.
  4. Problem Solving: How a child plays with toys and solves problems.
  5. Personal-Social: A child’s self-help skills and interactions with others.
The Basics:The Basics are five fun, simple, and powerful ways to help all our children aged 0-3 grow to be happy and smart. ASQ/Sparkler:The Ages & Stages Questionnaire (ASQ) provides a fun, interactive way to understand the many changes a baby or young child goes through 
  • Ages and Stages link https://cdi.211ct.org/program/ages-and-stages/.
  • Sparkler is a free app that you can use on your phone or tablet to better understand your child’s development, find fun off-screen activities to play together, and get tips to help your child grow!

Birth to Three: The CT Birth to Three System is designed to support families to enhance their child’s development and connect to their communities. Learn more: https://www.ctoec.org/programs-and-services/

Home visiting:Home visiting programs provide in-home support and services for children and their families. For more information about home visiting programs:

Early literacy

Early Literacy

Early literacy involves building skills to get ready to read, and you can help your child develop early literacy just by reading or telling stories with the pictures in a book and talking to them every day, in any language.  


early care and education

Early Childhood Childcare and Education (Infants-Preschool)

Looking for childcare?  Norwalk offers both center-based and family childcare options for children beginning at 6 weeks of age through kindergarten entry.  Many programs receive state subsidies and offer tuition on a sliding-fee scale.  The Head Start program is free to those who qualify. See information below on accessing information about early care and education programs.  

A high-quality early care and education experience benefits children in many ways. It helps children get used to routines, develop problem solving skills, learn how to compromise with others, self-regulate their behavior, and gain independence. It also helps them develop early literacy and numeracy skills. The following information can help as you explore early childhood education experiences for your child.


health and nutrition

Health and Nutrition

Additional Information:

American Academy of Pediatrics Early Childhood Health and Development: https://www.aap.org/en/patient-care/early-childhood/early-childhood-health-and-development/


Time for Kindergarten!

Time for kindergarten!  

Kindergarten is open to any child who is going to 5 on or before September 1 of their kindergarten year.   


Information and Resources for families

Information and Resources for Families 

Family Supports

Does your family need help with food, housing, utilities, or other services? The City of Norwalk Community Resource Hub is here to help you identify, understand, and navigate available support services and resources. Call the professionals at the Community Resource Hub at 203-854-7999 or stop by City Hall, Room 202. For more information, visit:  https://www.norwalkct.org/1898/Community-Services


Kid friendly activities

Kid Friendly Activities

Norwalk Playgrounds
  1. Bouton Street Park- Corner of Bouton St and Oak Street
  2. Broad River Park - 33 Silvermine Avenue
  3. Brookside Elementary School - 382 Highland Avenue
  4. Calf Pasture Beach - 99 Calf Pasture Beach Road
  5. Cranbury Elementary School- 10 Knowalot Lane
  6. Cranbury Park - 300 Grumman Avenue
  7. Fitch Park - 75 Strawberry Hill Avenue
  8. Flax Hill Park - 253 Flax Hill Road
  9. Fox Run Elementary School - 228 Fillow Street
  10. Jefferson Elementary School - 75 Van Buren Avenue
  11. Kendall Elementary School - 57 Fillow Street
  12. Ludlow Park - 7-11 Calf Pasture Beach Road
  13. Marvin Elementary School - 15 Calf Pasture Beach Road
  14. Devon’s Place/Mathews Park - 295 West Avenue/Mathews Park
  15. Meadow St. Park - 49 Meadow Street
  16. Naramake Elementary School - 16 King Street
  17. Oyster Shell Park - 95 North Water Street
  18. Roosevelt Center - 11 Allen Road
  19. Rowayton Elementary School - 1 Roton Avenue
  20. Ryan Park - Day St
  21. Shady Beach - 99 Calf Pasture Beach Road
  22. Silvermine Elementary School - 157 Perry Avenue
  23. Springwood Park - 99 Ingalls Avenue
  24. South Norwalk Elementary School - 46 Concord Street
  25. Tracey Elementary School - 20 Camp Street
  26. Veterans Memorial Park - 42 Seaview Avenue
  27. Wolfpit Elementary School - 1 Starlight Drive
  28. Woodward Ave. Park - Corner of Woodward Ave and Dock Rd

Local Libraries-FREE and OPEN to all
  1. Norwalk Public Library
  2. East Norwalk Library
  3.  Rowayton Library

Story Times, Music, Gym, Baby & Me and more
  1. Fox Run Family Resource Center-early childhood connections groups https://foxrunfrc.weebly.com/
  2. Stepping Stones Museum for Children-Daily Programs (steppingstonesmuseum.org)
  3. Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk-https://www.maritimeaquarium.org/
  4. Congregation Beth El-Baby & Me class-Thursdays, 9:30-10:30 AM (open to the public) https://www.bethelnorwalk.org/
  5. Tumble Jungle-gymnastics www.tumblejungle.com
  6. Music Together of Fairfield County-music programs for children https://www.ctmusictogether.com
  7. Jumpin’Jams-gymnastics https://www.jumpinjams.com/
  8. Sky Zone Little Leapers | Sky Zone Trampoline Park
  9. Stamford JCC The Stamford JCC - Enrichment
  10. Mommy Poppins https://mommypoppins.com/connecticut/
  11. SoNo Ice House-ice skating Sono Ice House
  12. Earthplace-Westport Earthplace – Where Science, Conservation, and Education Meet
  13. City of Norwalk-Recreation and Parks Dept.- Recreation & Parks | Norwalk, CT - Official Website (norwalkct.gov)


Swimming Lessons
  1. Gold Fish Swim School-Kids Swimming Lessons | Goldfish Swim School
  2. Stewie the Duck Swim School-Stewie The Duck Swim School - Swim Lessons in Norwalk, CT
  3. British Swim School at Courtyard Norwalk-Swimming Lessons in Norwalk, CT | British Swim School
  4. Norwalk Recreation and Parks- Aquatics | Norwalk, CT - Official Website (norwalkct.gov)

Early childhood structure in norwalk

Early Childhood Structure in Norwalk

The Early Childhood Office

The Norwalk Early Childhood Office is located at the Norwalk Public Schools Family Center at One Park St.  It was established in 2008 with support from the City of Norwalk, Norwalk Public Schools, the United Way of Coastal Fairfield County and the William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund. 

The Office houses: 

They work closely with each other to provide support to early care and education programs and families in Norwalk. Call them if you have questions about early childhood in Norwalk.  

The Norwalk Early Childhood Collaborative

Since 1998, the Norwalk Early Childhood Collaborative (NECC) has worked to ensure that all Norwalk children enter kindergarten ready to learn and succeed in school and in life. The Collaborative includes parents, program directors and representatives from organizations including the city, Norwalk Public Schools, the Norwalk Public Library, Family and Children’s Agency and the Norwalk Housing Authority.   Find more information about the Collaborative on its Facebook page: www.facebook.com/norwalkearlychildhoodcouncil or by contacting the Early Childhood Office (203)854-4148 or moster@norwalkct.gov.


parent with baby