Karen Facey, the Early Childhood Educator  at HPHS Little Owls

Hartford Public Schools (HPS) is excited to announce the grand reopening of Little Owls, a program that offers free childcare services for parenting students throughout the district. Staffed by Early Childhood Educators and Paraeducators, the center will provide quality care for babies as young as eight weeks old and children up to three years old. School Social Workers will also be at the center to provide additional support to pregnant and parenting teens. Little Owls will allow parenting students to continue their education and focus on their future without worrying about finding or paying for childcare. This is one component of the district’s holistic approach to student wellbeing rooted in equity and ensuring that all students have access to high quality education despite various levels of student need, which have only intensified since the pandemic.

Childcare at Little OwlsLittle Owls' Karen Facey, Early Childhood Educator (l.) and Vanessa Torres, Paraeducator

“Many times, parenting teens are forced to drop out of school because they don’t have access to free, safe childcare. Little Owls allows us to meet the needs of young parents enrolled in our district so they can stay on track academically,” said Dr. Leslie Torres-Rodriguez, Superintendent of Hartford Public Schools. “Our mission is to help all students succeed, and I am so excited to see our students take advantage of this program and continue to reach for their dreams.”

Ribbon cutting at Little OwlsPrincipal Flora Padro, Superintendent Dr. Leslie Torres-Rodriguez, and Hartford Board of Education Secretary Francoise Deristel-Leger cut the ribbon, officially reopening the Little Owls daycare center

“We are beyond excited to provide our pregnant and parenting teens with equitable access to high quality childcare so they may focus on their own goal of graduating high school and furthering their education,” said Lore Minich, the Director of Early Childhood for Hartford Public Schools.

The space at Hartford Public High School has been renovated and provides a clean, safe, environment in an easily accessible location for parents. Transportation will be provided so that all HPS students can take advantage of the services. Little Owls will also be open during the summer for parents who are enrolled in HPS summer programming.

Team from Little Owls HPHSLeft to right, some of the team members who brought Little Owls back to Hartford Public Schools, Principal Flora Padro, Stacey Youmatz, District Lead for Early Childhood, Lore Minich, Director of Early Childhood, Superintendent Dr. Leslie Torres-Rodriguez, Hartford Board of Education Secretary Francoise Deristel-Leger, Katie Leonard, Acting Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction, Assistant Principal Irene Rietze, Acting Assistant Director of Elementary Literacy Amanda Kushner, Colleen Zona, and Ashley Bewry

In the Media

WTNH: Hartford Public Schools relaunch day care for teen parents

WFSB Channel 3: New childcare center opens for children of Hartford students

Telemundo: Abren centro de cuidado infantil para padres estudiantes de la Escuelas Públicas de Hartford

NBC Connecticut: Little Owls Childcare meets a need for teen parents in Hartford Public Schools