History of Northshire Day School

The Northshire Day School (NDS), established in 1968, is the largest child care provider in the Manchester area, serving over 100 children from 15 different towns six weeks to 5 years old. 


In 1971, responding to the severe shortage of child care in Manchester, local philanthropist Sarah Larson donated a split-level, ranch house to be used as a child care center.  For the next 30 years, the school served generations of local children, in a cramped but happy and lively operation, highly esteemed by all. 


With only a minimal playground, and tight quarters, the school still served up to 60 children at a time.  The building was too small to accommodate additional children, and the lot too small to do an effective expansion.  Yet the school was an essential cornerstone of Manchester life.


As more and more families became two-parent earners, and the local population grew, the demand for more child care continued to increase.  Northshire Day sensing the needs of the community, extended open enrollment to infants of 6 weeks, and began an after-school program. Within a few months we reached capacity with a large number on a waiting list and it became even more pressing for a larger facility.     


The $4 million Capital Campaign goal had three components:

• A new 10,800 square foot facility to double NDS capacity and expand programs

• The NDS Endowment to provide income to keep the building fiscally sound for years to come and maintain as low as 

   possible parent fees

• The Northshire Day School’s Community Grant. A separate endowment to provide grants for other area child care

   centers, to assist with enrichment programs.   


The Capital Campaign was successfully completed in 2006 over a hundred children now attend the school, which has weekly child care, and after-school program, and summer camp. The school has consistently achieved recognition for the State of Vermont through their Step Ahead Recognition System (STARS) for child care, early education and school age programs.