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Thom Pentucket Early Intervention

320 Main St., P.O. Box 956, West Newbury, MA  01985

Contact information:
Phone: (978) 363-5553
Fax: (978) 363-2435
Email: lschaeffer@thomchild.org
Linda Schaeffer, Director

Hours Of Operation:
7:30 - 5:00

Our Programs

Playgroups Offered

Groups offered change from time to time, based on families’ and children’s needs and interests. Please call the Thom Pentucket Early Intervention Program at (978) 363-5553 and ask for Gretchen Dallaire at extension 163 for up-to-date times and details about any of our playgroup opportunities.

Baby & Me is for children 6-12 months of age and their parent(s). Playgroup is held for 1 ½ hours each week. It is currently held at the Thom Pentucket Early Intervention Program in West Newbury. The group helps parents to realize their role as their child’s first and most important teacher. Parents discover new ways to interact with their child during group time as well as at home. Baby and Me playgroup gives parents informal opportunities to socialize and find support for themselves with other parents.

The Young & the Restless groups are for children 12 -24 months of age and their parents. Groups are held for 1 ½ hours each week and currently take place at the Newbury Elementary School in Newbury and Early Head Start's Fox Center in Haverhill. Young and the Restless groups provide an emotionally supportive place for parents to learn more about promoting their child’s development and children have the opportunity to interact with other children and improve their play and social skills. Emphasis is also placed on routines which foster children’s attention and communication skills. Young and the Restless groups are social and educational opportunities for parents and children alike.

Musical Moments, a music-based group, is led by a Music Therapist for children 18-36 months of age and their parent(s). This group meets weekly for 2 hours at Newbury Elementary School. Parents separate from the children and are encouraged to participate in an optional parent group. In this group, children learn to enjoy songs, rhythm and music in a playful and relaxed setting that focuses on language development through music.

Little Explorers play groups are for children 18-36 months of age. Groups are offered on a variety of days and times. They are held in community school settings including:

  • Haverhill Family and Community Connections Program
  • Triton Regional Schools at the Newbury Elementary School
  • Perley School in Georgetown
  • Early Head Start's Fox Center in Haverhill

Little Explorers groups are held once each week for 2 hours and are led by members of the Thom Pentucket  Early Intervention’s experienced staff. Parents are present during the beginning of the group while their child is transitioning into the group and then separate to attend an optional Parent Group. The groups include children from the community, as well as children receiving services from the Thom Pentucket Early Intervention Program.

Siblings, cousins or friends in this age range who have typically developing skills are welcome to join in as community peers when space is available. While each Little Explorers group is somewhat different based on the ages, needs and interests of participating children, there are some common threads. All groups offer a language rich, nurturing and safe environment where children have the opportunity to explore and play with their peers. The Thom Pentucket Early Intervention staff maintain consistent routines including free play, motor play, snack, circle time, music, and pretend and manipulative play activities. Little Explorers groups promote language skills, imitation, learning to follow directions, socialization, independence and self-care skills and stimulating large motor play. The high staff to child ratio, with at least one adult to every three children, allows staff to facilitate child to child peer interaction and learning in all areas of development.

Thom Pentucket Early Intervention also provides a Bilingual (Spanish speaking) Little Explorers Playgroup at the Haverhill Family and Community Connections site one morning a week.  The leader of the playgroup, teacher assistants and Parent Group leader are all bilingual professionals.

Staffing for all playgroups is provided by Thom Pentucket Early Intervention professionals, who may include Developmental Educators, Speech and Language Pathologists, Occupational and Physical Therapists, Family Therapists, Music Therapists and Educational Assistants.

Other Program Services

Workshops for parents and other members of the community include:

  • Child Growth and Development
  • Speech and Language Development
  • Red Flags – Identifying Developmental Concerns
  • Behavior
  • Sensory Integration – What is it?
  • Simple Sign Language for Babies
  • Motor Development
  • The Value of Play
  • Turning Three (Transitions from Early Intervention)
Also includes:
  • Community Developmental Screenings
  • Consultation and Technical Assistance to Child Care and Other Community Providers