Play & Learn's History

Founded by Experienced Educational Professionals

Fort Washington Child Care Center was founded in 1981 on the historic grounds held by George Washington and his troops during the Revolutionary War. Fort Washington Child Care, a 501(C)(3) non-profit organization, opened with 5 staff and 21 children. Founded by Wordsworth Academy educators and psychologists who envisioned a program that would be “more than daycare”, Fort Washington Child Care identified the individual needs of children and challenged them according to their individual learning style; developing a readiness for learning and stimulating their socialization, self-esteem and confidence.

As Fort Washington Child Care grew and began to serve families outside of the Fort Washington community, the organization evolved into Play and Learn. Today, Play and Learn provides child care programs throughout Montgomery County, with 12 centers serving children ages six weeks through Kindergarten. Play and Learn also provides management services to Montessori Children’s House and Jenkintown Day Nursery. Play and Learn is also the onsite child care provider for Abington Jefferson Health.

Great things have happened at Play and Learn over the past 37 years and continue to happen as we grow as an organization. Here are some highlights from the past few years:


Play and Learn implements a new curriculum, The Creative Curriculum® for Infants, Toddlers, Twos and Preschool.

Play and Learn expands its offering of the Pre-K Counts program, now offering the program at Hatboro, Norristown and Lansdale Centers.


Play and Learn is chosen by the Office of Child Development and Early Learning to pilot a new Infant and Toddler program for families currently participating in Child Care Works.


Play and Learn partners with Maternity Care Coalition to offer the Early Head Start program at the Norristown Play and Learn Center.

The Foster Grandparent Program, a program that provides volunteer opportunities for limited-income seniors to help children with special needs begins at the Fort Washington Play and Learn Center.


Executive Director Judith Cooper is presented with the Award of Excellence by the Pennsylvania Child Care Association or PACCA.


Play and Learn begins providing management services to Jenkintown Day Nursery and develops a partnership with Jenkintown Day Nursery Foundation to provide families in need with child care assistance.


Abington Memorial Hospital, Play and Learn and State Representative Madeleine Dean celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the Gerstadt Center, Abington Jefferson Health’s early education program.


Pre-K Counts, a free pre-kindergarten program established by the Pennsylvania Department of Education is started at the Blue Bell, Hatboro and Lansdale Play and Learn Centers.


Director of the Hatboro Play and Learn center is nominated for the Southeast Regional Key (SERK) Honor Roll.

CLICK HERE to learn more about the history of Play and Learn.

Play and Learn

Play and Learn