Carelot Children’s Center was founded in February 1998 as a fulfillment to a lifelong dream of Holly Vlaun Bevilacqua, now Chief Operating Officer. Larry and Holly Bevilacqua welcomed their first child into the world on July 9, 1995. Holly had a successful teaching career yet she longed to be at home with her new daughter. With her love for children and enthusiasm for teaching, Holly opened “Little Ducklings” home daycare. It didn’t take long for word to spread of the wonderful program being offered at “Little Ducklings”. Recognition for quality childcare became imperative. As lifelong residents of Waterford with strong sense of community, a location in the heart of Waterford was found at 203 Boston Post Road. The year long process was underway to make it a state of the art childcare center that would meet their needs. Thus, began the mission to build strong foundations for a lifetime of learning. Holly hired her sisters who had also chosen teaching as their professions. With only ten children enrolled and 4 staff, this family run center named Carelot Children’s Center was opened on February 23, 1998.
Enrollment increased and the reputation spread and demanded the growth of the business. In August of 1999, Mr. Bevilacqua took on the task of opening a second center with double the capacity in East Lyme, CT. The building was already in place physically but needed some cosmetic and aesthetic changes to meet the Carelot Standards. This center has 12 classrooms and can accommodate 165 students today. The East Lyme site offers three classrooms, a lounge, Science room and the Tiki Lunch room dedicated solely to the school age summer and vacation programs. In August of 2004 The Friendship School, a regional multicultural magnet preschool opened and the superintendent of schools in Waterford Randall Collins called Carelot to personally ask them to please consider submitting a bid proposal to create the before and after school program within the school. He stated that his respect for the quality of our educational program in town prompted him to ask for our involvement. The 2004/2005 bid was won by Carelot who created the Carelot Clubhouse at The Friendship School. After a successful first year the contract was once again put out to bid and was awarded to Carelot for a three year term. Carelot was selected over more than six other competitors to continue the program. In March of 2007 Carelot began the process of opening Carelot Killingly, our third full service learning center in the Carelot Family. Under the direction of Carelot’s Vice President of Development and Marketing, Melissa Bergeron, the center opened in September 2007 with a capacity of 112 children. Carelot Brooklyn was found in the spring of 2007 just after the construction of the Killingly program began. This site served previously as a center and with upgrades added to meet the Carelot Standards opened in July 2007 with a capacity of 44 children. Carelot has operated Before and After School programs in the towns of Waterford, and Griswold public school systems since 2007. In 2008 the Town of Voluntown contracted Carelot to begin a Before and After School Program to service the children in their town. In 2009 Carelot added Play and Learn in Chaplin, CT to it’s Carelot family of centers and was contracted with the New London Public School district to operate a new Before and After School program at Harbor School.
Carelot Children’s Center has been in existence since 1998 and continues to provide a quality program for children age’s three months to twelve years. All of our centers operate using the standards set forth by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). All of our centers currently hold certification from the organization. Carelot prides itself on community collaborations being a part of their well thought out and internally developed curriculum. The centers and programs all provide a warm, loving atmosphere for children to learn, grow and explore at their own individual pace while be supported by a professional team of individuals dedicated to early childhood education.