Nutfield is a private non-profit, non-discriminatory, non-sectarian pre-school.We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin.

Nutfield was founded in 1969 by local parents who wanted to provide their children with a hands-on preschool experience. They approached Pastor Bill Strait of the First Parish Church to use space in the church. He encouraged them to create a cooperative school to serve the whole community.

Thus was born Nutfield Cooperative School which still operates under much the same mandate. 

Jump to see our Current Classes or FAQs, or learn more in the following sections:

The Nutfield Experience

A school not a child-care center, Nutfield provides a nurturing, stimulating environment where your child can grow to be their best.

Social growth comes from peer group interaction, associating with adults other than relatives, and cooperating to solve problems and share materials.

Early Learning Guidelines

The New Hampshire Early Learning Guidelines Task Force writes:

"Key in supporting young children’s growth, development, and learning are: 
♦ Play-based activities; 
♦ A nurturing community of caring adults; 
♦ Positive family interactions; and 
♦ Fun and engaging learning experiences that reflect each child’s interest, family, and culture. 
Such support, including the joy, wonder, humor, and love that adults bring to the child-adult relationship, is essential to children’s success in school and life."

Our cooperative, parent-involved approach to education is based on similar observations, and proven by over 35 years of experience. Read more by downloading the Task Force's Guidelines package. 

Emotional growth is encouraged by the considerable attention each child receives, and positive reinforcement that fosters an “I’m OK” attitude. This gives children the confidence to attack new challenges with a great deal of success.

Intellectual growth is triggered by our teacher-devised programs, tailored for each specific group. Hands-on experience plays an important role: cooking, blocks, dress-up, and water play all contribute to a child’s understanding of their world.

Physical growth is achieved though daily outside play on large equipment and a bimonthly gym class.

We invest our resources in qualified, creative personnel rather than commercial teaching aids, thereby giving us the flexibility to meet the needs of each new group of children.

Nutfield has enjoyed an excellent reputation since 1969: we are now teaching the children of our earliest students!

Why a Cooperative School?

We love Nutfield Co-op! As parents, nothing compares to being able to share in the fun and learning that the nurturing and talented teachers at Nutfield bring to our little ones!
— Bethany Dowell Layne, Facebook Review

Parents choose Nutfield because they see themselves as an important part of their child’s education.

Parents participate in a rotating schedule and every class has a mom or dad working alongside the teachers and students. Parents are encouraged to join the children on our many field trips, and to share their hobbies and professional experiences.

The two-way communication that occurs every day contributes to the most positive preschool experiences possible.

Your participation also assures your child that you are interested in their activities at school, and that you support them in their first venture into a world away from home.


The school is run by a Board of Directors composed of: 

The current Board includes a mix of school staffers, parent reps, and professional volunteers:

  • Kathy Gallagher, Director
  • Fred Merrill, Treasurer
  • Carol Flint, Secretary/Registrar
  • Sue Dionne, Staff Rep.
  • Julie Turner, FPC Rep.
  • Don Blazka, Legal Consultant
  • Paul Lindemann, Marketing Consultant
  • Lindsay Degnan, Parent Rep.
  • Stacey Donlon, Parent Rep.
  • Cynthia Smiddy, Parent Rep
  • Jennifer Zenga, Parent Rep.

Director of the School 
Four parent representatives 
Educational consultant 
Staff representative 
First Parish Church representative 

Board meetings are held regularly from September to May with an annual meeting for all parents held in the fall.

Nutfield is also a cooperative school, which means parents participate in their child's education by volunteering their time in the classroom. Based upon a rotating schedule, a parent volunteer works alongside the teachers and students each day in the classroom. Parents are encouraged to join the children on our many field trips, and to share their hobbies and professional experiences with their child's class.

Please review our currently-available classes, and for more information, contact us or visit the FAQ page