Start your child on a lifelong journey to learning...

CCNS has been such a supportive and welcoming community for our son and our entire family.  With the difficult circumstances due to the pandemic, they've been incredibly safe, empathetic, and accommodating.  We've been lucky enough to observe circle time, and the thoughtfulness and intentionality with which the teachers interact with the children has been amazing.

From day one, Dawn and Debbie have prioritized the safety and emotional well-being of the children over everything else, and they've gone out of their way to make things work for each child individually.  They are communicative with us as parents so we feel connected as well; they've found ways to include parents even from a distance; and they've gotten to know each child and family personally, even with fewer opportunities for in-person interactions with parents.

We couldn't be more grateful for CCNS and we'd recommend it to anyone looking for a warm and supportive environment for preschool.

 -Deb Tennen and Colin Johnson 

Dear Mrs. Lane and Mrs. Markowitz,

I wanted to thank you for the wonderful experience Ava is having at CCNS. I was a little concerned sending her when she was still "2" to nursery school. She was going to be one of the youngest in the class, and being my first child I had my hesitations. After the first day at school, they were gone. You were both so easy to talk to,  and that put me and Ava at ease immediately. And she has thrived and developed so much. I have even loved watch her coloring skills grow from huge random scribbles to her loving and trying so hard to color in between the lines. Such a little thing, but such a big deal to little ones honing their fine motors skills and being given the time and encouragement to do so. 

I really like the set up of her school day and the free time 3 year olds get. I also feel that she has learned to really enjoy listening to her teachers and cooperating in a group setting with her peers. She listens well to us at home and I give credit to you and " her putting on her listening ears!"  

I truly believe that the two of you care so much about the children.  The children also know that and that is important to me for Ava to feel like she is being cared for when I'm not around. 

Thank you for a wonderful first nursery school experience for our family.


Melissa Carman

I was fortunate enough to have been referred to CCNS by a friend when my son was ready for preschool. We were so completely thrilled with the program as well as the fantastic teachers that we are now enjoying the 4's program with our 3rd child. We've enjoyed watching all 3 of our children grow and blossom at CCNS and I am so thankful. I know when I drive away that not only are my children learning and having fun, but they are nurtured and loved every day. I am full of gratitude for the path that led our children to the most wonderful preschool around! 

Michelle Langer


Switching to CCNS was the best family decision we've ever made.  If love alone could build a school, CCNS would be a castle.  All we wanted was our son to love school, now he won't stop talking about it!  In a few months, our son has made tremendous growth socially.  It sounds sappy but Debbie and Nancy have been an answer to our prayers for our son.

My kindergarten-aged son remembers his time at CCNS fondly and is eager for chances to visit his former teachers, while my daughter is currently flourishing in the 3's program.  Our family feels so lucky to have found this special place for our children to learn and grow. 
Smith Family

CCNS has been great fit for our three-year-old and our family.  The classes are structured with engaging projects and activities, parent participation is encouraged which brings in a sense of community, our son loves the teachers and has built great friendships with his classmates and we've seen growth and development in our son since day one.
Debbie Lane has created a warm welcoming environment where children thrive and find a love for learning. 
Ankeny Minoux 

From a professional perspective, and from my personal experience with my son, CCNS offers a perfectly balanced program that nurtures children's sense of self by providing them with a sense of unconditional love while at the same time encouraging them to take risks to expand their awareness of the world around them.  CCNS does a phenomenal job of preparing children for kindergarten while fully appreciating the joys of childhood!


Jacqueline Alexander

Developmental Psychotherapist



Canton Community Nursery School is definitely something that I wish every child could experience!  It was the first preschool that I visited and I knew right away that it was the one for my son. I am a very "protective" mom with my first and the feeling of safety and love that I had from the moment I walked in was nothing like I had seen or felt in any other preschool facility.  There is a structure in place that you don't even realize is there, it's done with such ease and assurance that you and your child are comfortable within minutes. As I witnessed on my visit to the preschool I saw Mrs. Lane get down on one knee and calm down a student within seconds and make him feel that he had a voice, she looked him right in the eye got down on his level and let him speak.  Right then and there I could see the compassion and commitment that I knew my child needed.  At 3 and 4 years of age, kids need to be kids and "want" to learn and that's exactly what CCNS provided for my child.  I am grateful that his first experience was at this school and am so proud. Thank you!


Diana and Andy Miller

After 6 years, my family must sadly say goodbye to Canton Community Nursery School as my children continue on in their education.  Over the course of my children’s preschool careers, our family has formed strong bonds with the teachers, students, and other families at CCNS and I know as a result we will continue to go back to visit and correspond.  My children have thrived in this warm and inviting school enviornment which consistently balances structured play and kindergarten readiness skills.  They have benefitted from the wealth of knowledge the teachers have brought to both the monthly themes they are studying and what is developmentally age appropriate.  My children have eagerly looked forward to school and never been disappointed.  They have enjoyed unique programming that includes participating in lunch bunch, visitations from key community members, outdoor education days, and class trips to destinations like the Wadsworth Athenum, the Bushnell Theatre, and the Simsbury Airport to name just a few.  As a parent at CCNS, I also took the opportunity to sit on the board for 5 of my 6 years.  Being a member of the board allowed me to assist in fund raising (like our annual Halloween Party or Flatbread Benefit Night) whose proceeds directly benefitted my children’s school experience.  I was able to help plan and participate in Family Fun Events like the “Spring Bunny” at Barnes and Noble, Family Movie Nights and a “Night Out with Birds of Prey”.  As a board member, I am most pleased with the role I played in moving the preschool from its prior location to its current location at 125 Dowd Avenue which is convenient, clean and safe.  My husband and I have been thrilled that we chose Canton Communtiy Nursery School for our children.  It was a perfect fit and we would strongly encourage other families to make the same choice.

Kim  Kulik – 2004-2011

Both my sons, Kyle now age 8 and Luke currently age 5 attended CCNS and absolutely loved it!!  The teachers are so kind and patient and really love what they are doing and love each child individually so much.  The curriculum was great and both my boys were ready for kindergarten both academically and socially.  We all have such fond memories of CCNS and I have a letter that Mrs. Iskra wrote to Kyle when she went to Nashville, "Music City", that I keep in a draw and Kyle and I  read it together every now and then and it makes us both smile.  Kyle has a love of music and Mrs. Iskra picked up on that right away and took me aside and told me I must get him in a music program.  He was my first child, so I thought that every kid liked music.  She saw that spark in his eye when they had music time and that he always picked the music area during free time.  He still loves music and has been involved in several music programs since CCNS.  He wants to play the drums next.  Yikes!!
Mrs. Lane is an awesome director and has everything so organized which is great for someone like me who is not that organized....Mrs Lane has been on a "turtle hunt" for us as the boys are looking for turtles as pets and she is keeping on eye out for us to be the proud owners of turtles.  The fact that CCNS is cooperative gave both me and my husband the opportunity to participate in our children's learning and spend time in the class room which is priceless.  I think my husband had more fun getting on the floor and playing with the kids than anyone I know! I cannot say enough great things about CCNS!!  We loved it and know you will too!
Best regards,
Marcie Maher

We cannot begin to explain how much we love Canton Community Nursery School! It is absolutely the perfect place for children to experience school for the first time! The amazing teachers are so dedicated to providing a nurturing, caring environment that allows children to grow and develop at their own pace, in their own time. A child's first experience with school should be positive, fun, and encourage discovery, and that is exactly what the teachers at CCNS provide for their students. And all the while, they are learning so much! They learn how to play and interact with their peers, how to participate in a group setting where everyone is respected and free to share their own thoughts and ideas, and they learn to appreciate the individuality of each member of the group. The themed units that are taught each month give the children the opportunity to learn so much, explore new ideas, and to take their knowledge and use it outside of the classroom. CCNS truly strives to encourage children to be life-long learners and to love learning! The programs that CCNS provide absolutely prepare students for kindergarten, and beyond.

We highly recommend CCNS for a child's first school experience! We couldn't imagine sending our children anywhere else! We are so grateful for the dedication of the teachers at CCNS! 

Ben & Beth Raccuia

CCNS was a wonderful experience for our entire family. Our children were welcomed each day with open arms eager to soak up the knowledge that was shared with them through each monthly theme. From cheerful hellos in the parking lot with parents to coming into the classroom as a parent helper and getting to know the students and teachers, we felt like we became part of a family at CCNS. Being a parent helper let us see first hand how the day flowed for the class. We had as much fun singing along and playing as the children and teachers. Each of our children went through the 3's and 4's programs and we feel so fortunate for choosing to send them to CCNS. 

Jenner and Will Lavery

Debbie, I just had to take a moment to tell you how spectacular the CCNS program was for my son.  The three teachers are amazing and dedicated and understand thoroughly how to teach 3 and 4 year olds.  Andrew is now in Kindergarten and THRIVING as a result of his experiences at CCNS.  He is so eager to learn and happy in school;  I know it is because of the great foundation he was given at CCNS.   

Because of you and your program he was completely prepared for school:  socially, emotionally and academically.  He has great friends from CCNS who I predict will still be his buddies when he is in high school.  (Not to mention the great friendships I formed with the other Mom’s).   

I researched many programs before signing Andrew up for CCNS.  It was your attention to the whole child and your ability to provide individual attention that was fantastic.  I knew I could ask you any question and be treated with respect and caring.  You gave of your time so willingly about topics of discipline and nutrition and reading and writing and on and on.  I am a better parent today because of being a member of the CCNS family.  And, Andrew gained such self confidence as a result of successfully going through your program.   

My only complaint is that I really do think he would leave me in a second and eagerly go live with you, Mrs. Iskra or Mrs. Kucia!   

Congrats on your new space and without a doubt CCNS is THE BEST nursery school program in the Farmington Valley.     

Thank you for all that you do for the school and for the Canton Community, 


Michele Matthes

 It is that time of year again when Canton Parents of Preschool-aged children must make a choice of where to send their child for school.  Parents of Canton are lucky because there are so many excellent options in our area.  The option I chose for my children was a school with a cooperative element.  Canton Community Nursery School is a cooperative venture where they actively encourage parental involvement.  It is what I believe has made the difference in my children’s' learning experience.  Being active at the school and coming in as a parent helper a few times during the school year made my children feel special as it was called their "special day".  Helping out on my work day also set a good example for my children showing them it is important to give back to the community.  However, the most important benefit of a cooperative education is that the school becomes like family.  You really get to know everyone and the friendships made last a lifetime.  There are students that are in High School that still come in and help because of their love of this special school.  It is also wonderful seeing parents and grandparents coming in to share their talents with the students.  It takes parents working hand in hand with excellent, caring teachers to start children off loving to learn.  So from one parent to another I think Canton Community Nursery School is a smart choice.   
Jean Mix

As anyone who works with children can attest to, Robert Fulghum, in his book All I Really Need to Know I learned in Kindergarten, left out the importance of the development that occurs in the first five years of life.

So much happens before kindergarten. Only the middle school years, with the onset of puberty, rival the most rapid development and changes that occur in children from birth through the preschool years.

It takes a special set of talents to work with preschool aged children: enduring patience is an important ingredient in working successfully with preschoolers, as is exuberance, curiosity, empathy and understanding.

The preschooler wants to share her/his exuberance in making discoveries and uncovering life’s secrets. She needs to connect with caring and understanding adults to develop her humanity. And to top it all off, the preschooler is all about self. What makes Canton Community Nursery School exemplary is the individual attention the staff provides each child.

Children who spend time in a setting where adults understand and nurture their development thrive and succeed in kindergarten and beyond. Both my teenagers attended CCNS, and we all have fond memories. To this day they both volunteer each year at the CCNS Halloween party.

I can think of no better environment than Canton Community Nursery School for children to develop and plant the seeds of success for the future. 

Nora Hillman Goeler

Educator and Parent of CCNS Graduates

As I started looking for a preschool for my son, I had a short list of things I was searching for in a school.  I wanted a place that would make him happy and provide him with a strong foundation for the work that he would need to do in Kindergarten.  I looked at a number of area preschools in making my decision.  As I pulled into Canton Community, I was a bit surprised by the small building, but reserved judgment.  The moment I walked in the door I knew this was the place for him.  It was open and welcoming.  The set up of the room was symbolic of what this one room would bring to my son's first formal educational experience.  The teachers exemplified the openness that all preschool children need.  The children were all happily moving from one activity to another without much ado and with great interest.  It was clear to me that this was the place for him (and me!)  

      I spent the next two years watching my son grow and flourish.  Not only did he grow socially and learn the many things that go into being part of a group of children, but he learned so many academic pieces without even knowing it.  The teachers had a fabulous way of taking the children where they were and brought them where they could go.  Every activity had a purpose and provided the children with the strong educational foundation that every parent wants for their child.      

      Now, as he spends his first year in Kindergarten, I am able to see so clearly how his education at CCNS has truly provided him with everything he needs to succeed in school.  Academically he is thriving, socially he has the skills needed to get along well with others and he has everything he could possibly need to be successful in Kindergarten and in the years to come.  The other clear indication for me is how fondly my son speaks of his time at CCNS, his friends and most especially his teachers.   Now I have the pleasure of looking forward to my second child joining the CCNS family.  We can't wait!   

The Bruno Family


I honestly don’t know where to begin when it comes to describing our positive experience with Canton Community Nursery School.

I remember feeling right at home when my older daughter and I visited the school before registration.  The environment was exactly what we had been looking for.  The first day of school my daughter was so excited, and when we got to the classroom, she joined right in, and didn’t even give me a kiss goodbye! 

After two years at CCNS, she was exceptionally well prepared for kindergarten and continues to excel in school.  I feel that the teachers at CCNS did an excellent job of fostering that learning desire in her, and also set the foundation for her to be a curious, independent learner.  Although she has made new friends in primary school, she still has special friendships with her classmates from CCNS.

Now my younger daughter is in her second and last year at CCNS.  She too will be very well-prepared for kindergarten and the many years of school beyond.  The teachers at CCNS do a wonderful job of preparing the kids to learn, but also to be good citizens of the world, teaching them about taking care of the Earth, charity, kindness, and helping your friends.

Another benefit I have found of being involved at a cooperative school is the friendships I have made with other like-minded parents.  Before starting with CCNS I did not know many people in town.  CCNS has made it easy to get involved and to get to know other parents who also value their children’s educations.

I am eternally grateful to Canton Community Nursery School, the teachers, the board members, and the other families for the amazing experience of my daughters’ preschool: what it provided them, and what it provided our family.


Julie Keen

I only have wonderful things to share about CCNS and the experience my child had while attending the 4 yr old program. I chose this school on a personal recommendation from a friend and because of the proximity of the school to my home at the time. I saw such a positive transformation in my child over the course of the year and it was so much more than just the education and socialization that occurred during the school year. All 3 of my son's teachers were absolutely fantastic. They really made it a point to give each child such personal attention and went above and beyond to assist my husband and I in working with needs that arose specifically for him during the year. My son is now in kindergarten and tells me all the time how he wishes he could return to "little boy school" and he really misses his teachers. It was such a positive environment for him and I am so happy that we chose that school for his first learning experience. He has taken that enthusiasm for learning with him. Now that the school has changed locations, they unfortunately are farther from my home, but I will gladly drive the distance for my next 2 children to attend CCNS.
Thank you so very much again Debbie, Nancy and Michele for all that you do for our children!
Michelle Langer