A very special place, designed specifically and carefully
for Breakwater's youngest students…
and for the families who love them.

At Breakwater we believe young children are capable and intelligent.

Resilient, curious, and unique.

From early in life children are investigators and researchers of everything they see, touch, taste, feel and hear.  

Our toddler program is built from this understanding. We provide play, nature and curiosity-based hands-on learning experiences everyday. Teachers facilitate exploration and discovery as children build the foundations of all learning in a joyful, loving environment where each child's curiosity is respected, creativity valued, and collaborations supported.

We are so excited to offer a second toddler classroom starting in the 2017-2018 school year and welcome even more of our youngest friends. Schedule a tour today


Breakwater’s toddler program introduces students to our developmentally responsive independent school environment. Inspired by the best practices of Reggio Emilia and Montessori education, and grounded in intentional, integrated and research based teaching, we guide young children through play based, emergent curriculum rooted in a celebration of the natural world.

This is the "Breakwater Way" for our youngest students.


We enroll children 18 to 36 months, in a maximum class size of 9, and a teacher/student ratio of no greater than 1:5. Scheduling options include 5 half days from 8am-12pm or 3 to 5 full days from 8am to 3pm with Aftercare options until 5:30pm. Toddlers in our program are provided an environment expertly designed for their developmental needs while initiating them to Breakwater’s unique toddler through middle school learning continuum.


Breakwater is an intentional, inclusive community made up of dynamic educators and families that together engage students to lead wholehearted lives. It may be an overused adage - yet it does take a village. Many at Breakwater describe our school community as an extension of home. We are honored by this acknowledgment, and committed to building strong, effective partnerships between teachers, parents and the children we serve.

Want to experience a little taste of Breakwater? Join us for one of Breakwater's free Community Programming events, including Family Yoga, Family Potlucks in the Woods and more, providing opportunities for parents and small children to play, learn and grow together around the community.

Meet Members of our Toddler Team

Katie O'Toole has a Master’s in elementary education with a concentration in special education and a Master’s in early childhood leadership from Bank Street College of Education, as well as a Bachelor’s degree in psychology from College of the Holy Cross. Prior to Breakwater, Katie served as Director and Twos teacher at the Nest at Alphabet Academy, a Yale affiliated early learning center, and Associate Director and Twos teacher at Downtown Little School in Manhattan.  

Erica Paul comes from a family of educators. She began her formal training at Sarah Lawrence College, and continued at UMaine at Farmington. Erica received a degree in Early Childhood and holds a B.S. in Early Childhood Special Education. Erica is a level six Maine Roads to Quality member, holds a 282 certification in Early Childhood Special Education and a 081 certification in Early Childhood for children between the ages of birth and five.

Jeanne King is in her twentieth year at Breakwater where she has taught kindergarten, preschool and toddlers. Currently, Jeanne leads the Early Childhood Aftercare program with attentive interest in each child’s thoughts, stories, upsets and triumphs, and throughout the day offers continuity of care to the toddlers and preschoolers as she 'floats' between classrooms. Jeanne holds a B.S. in elementary education with a concentration in literacy from St. Joseph’s College.

Following six years teaching our toddlers, Wendy Getchell is our Early Childhood Program Coordinator. Wendy holds a B.A. from the University of Southern Maine, has completed courses for Infant/Toddler Credentials I and II, holds a certificate in Staff Leadership from CEI, and has Nature Play training from Maine Audobon. Wendy is on the NEASC Visiting Committee for the accreditation of schools and is founder and director of Kids Creative: Moving Arts for Kids.