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Montpelier Children's House was founded in 1984 by Larry Parker, with the goal of providing high-quality, accessible early education to the children of Central Vermont.  After serving the children and families of his community for nearly thirty years, in 2004 Larry turned over operations to his daughter, Samara Mays, who continues at act as Director and Head Teacher of this family-run program.

In 2017 Montpelier Children’s House was awarded Five STARS through Vermont’s STep Ahead Recognition System and is Pre-Qualified Pre-K Program through Vermont Act 166.

As a community school, you may often see us out and about in Montpelier.  Our central location allows our classroom to expand to many areas of town including the park, shops, the library and the many fascinating places in between.

We invite you to contact us to schedule a visit to learn more about our program.



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Samara Mays, Director

“Early childhood is such an important time for developing one’s relationship with the world. Forging close personal connections, sparking curiosity and learning to problem solve with our youngest students is one of the best ways I can think of to create caring citizens.”

Samara Mays joined Montpelier Children’s House in 2010 and assumed the role of Director in 2012.  She holds a B.S. in Environmental Studies from the University of Vermont and an M.A. in Rural Sociology from the University of Arkansas.  She has completed coursework through The Community College of Vermont and Union Institute towards the Program Director Credential and holds a Vermont Teaching License in Early Childhood Education. She lives in Montpelier with her husband, Ryan and their two boys, Ben and Jamie who are both MCH alumni.

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Cindy Cykon, Teacher

“I love children and love witnessing their incredible, magical development. I love to play and create with them.“

Cindy Cykon has been teaching at Montpelier Children’s House since December of 2017. She has a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from Champlain College with a specialization in developmental pediatric therapy, autism, and developmental disabilities. She worked as an occupational assistant for the U-32 district for 27 years.

Cindy grew up in Essex, Vermont and currently lives in Montpelier. She has three grown daughters whom she was fortunate to be able to stay home with and raise. She also has a 7 year old Shih Tu who is her constant companion. Cindy spends her time gardening, watercoloring, painting, sewing, and spending time with her friends.

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Amy Kilton, Teacher

“Preschoolers are the most interesting people in the world. They are passionate, honest, little people who have a way of teaching you something new every day.  I challenge any adult to find a career that fills your bucket every day the way that teaching preschoolers fills mine.”

Amy Kilton has been teaching at Montpelier Children’s House since August of 2013. She has completed coursework at both Johnson State College and Union Institute. Amy’s best skills have been honed in the trenches of the real world, caring for the many younger cousins provided to her by a gigantic extended family.

Amy grew up in Plainfield Vermont. These days she lives in Montpelier with her lovely daughter, Susanna. Together they care for their only pet, Kiwi the guinea pig, formerly the school’s only pet. Amy spends her time cooking, baking, hiking, enjoying live music and taking spontaneous adventures.

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Dan Sobel, Teacher

“Preschoolers are endlessly fascinating. I am amazed at how much they have learned in so short a time. I love doing art with them, telling stories and seeing the surprising ways they interpret the world around them.”

Dan Sobel has been teaching at Montpelier Children’s House since February of 2018. Dan has a Bachelor’s Degree from Brandeis and to post-baccalaureate degrees from Keene State in English and Special Education. He has taught all ages (3-20) in various settings, both public and private.

Dan grew up in Long Island, New York and moved to Vermont in 1987. He has a grown son who lives in Brattleboro. Dan lives in Montpelier and enjoys music, reading, the woods, walking, history, and above all, chocolate.

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Mia Rubow, Teacher

“Preschoolers are actively engaged in figuring out how the world works. I love their whole body commitment to this project and feel lucky to share the journey with them.”

Mia Rubow has been teaching at Montpelier Children’s House since August of 2018. Mia has a Bachelor’s degree from Goddard and is currently pursuing early childhood licensure through the Vermont Higher Education Collaborative. With her focus on inquiry based learning and outdoor education, Mia has worked at Orchard Valley Waldorf School, Earthwalk and the Forest Preschool at NBNC.

Mia has a background in organic farming and finds that, in their truest forms, teaching and farming aren’t so different. Each require observation, investigation and connection making. Mia is led by her curiosity and finds sharing that path with children to be tremendously inspirational and rewarding. She lives with her daughter in Montpelier.


Darlene Carey, Teaching Coach & Mentor

“Preschooler’s enthusiasm and curiosity is matched only by their passion. For those of us drawn to it, it is infectious. They choose us as their partners and for this, we are so fortunate.”

Darlene Carey has been working at Montpelier Children’s House since August of 2017, and has worked with MCH as a mentor for the Vermont Association for the Education on Young Children since 2013. She holds a Master’s Degree in Early Education from UVM. Her current role at Montpelier Children’s House is as a teaching coach and mentor, working to enhance daily teaching practices and strategies.

Darlene grew up on a dairy farm not too far from Montpelier. She currently shares a home with two furry cats, right here in the “Meadows.” She enjoys coffee and road trips with friends, walks in the woods and along waterways, a good book, and occasionally, the opportunity to dance!