About Us


Making the World a Better Place For All of Us

With Your Help, We are Making The World a Better Place

In 1883, Harriett Merriam, the daughter of Charles Merriam (yes, of Merriam-Webster Dictionaries!) founded Springfield Day Nursery – now Square One – in response to a critical and unmet community need for child care among Springfield’s working families.

This Is Where It Starts

Our Story

Today, Square One provides a range of family-friendly education and support services that are unique to each child and every family served. Our focus is on providing opportunities for children and families to build the foundation for lifelong learning, to make smart choices, and to grow strong cognitively, emotionally, socially and physically.

Square One’s programs include early education and care at centers in Springfield, home-based care settings located throughout greater Springfield, and out of school time care for elementary school age children. Our parent education, support and training programs are offered through groups, home visitation and personalized case management to help parents access whatever services are needed to be successful in their role as their child’s first teacher.

Square One is a private nonprofit organization that receives funding from public agencies and donations from generous private sector businesses and individuals. Square One is fully licensed by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children.

Our Vision & Approach

The vision of Square One is to affect meaningful change that results in better lives and more promising futures for children, families and our communities. Square One achieves this vision by raising funds, advocating on behalf of children and families, delivering research-based solutions, and developing needed services that promote education, health, safety, holistic development and self-reliance.

Square One supports children and the adults in their lives whose wellbeing directly impacts their own health and wellness. No matter who arrives at the table of need, we stand ready to serve:

Square One is solution-based. We address need where it exists and focus on outcomes at all levels of the organization.
Square One is innovative. We adapt to reflect an ever-changing community.
Square One is ready. We prepare and empower our staff and organization to act decisively whenever need arises.
Square One is proactive. We work to anticipate emerging needs.
Square One is respectful. We treat all people who we serve, engage or employ with dignity and respect.

Significantly, we believe that children thrive in healthy families, and that families thrive in vital communities. As a multi-service organization, every program we deliver and resource we provide is designed to address the unique needs of each child and every family we serve.