Forty Carrots was founded in 1993 by Betsy Kane-Hartnett and Diane Weiss. Betsy, a preschool director, and Diane, a parenting educator, had dreamed of opening a center that blended their respective skills of early childhood and parenting education, a place where families - regardless of economic status, educational background, age, or other factors - would find the resources, tools and support they needed to help nurture their families, educate their children and overcome the challenges inherent in those early years.
They called it Forty Carrots Preschool and Parenting Center. With their 40th birthdays just around the corner, the two women briefly considered “carat” and “karat” but felt putting down roots was more important than jewels or gems.
“Back then we didn’t know what a a business plan was…our board was made up of family and friends,” Betsy describes. “When we chose our staff, we chose people who would become part of our family."
Each brought their own talents and skills to the mix. As a team, they shared a common goal: To strengthen and enrich the lives of local families through education, outreach and support.
“We knew that if we wanted to make a real difference in our families’ lives, and ultimately throughout our community, we had to provide parents with support and necessary tools to be successful from the beginning,” says Diane. “Those first five years are the most critical...nearly 40 percent of children abused or neglected in our country are five years of age or younger, wth the greatest risk being in the first year of life."
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