WE CARE was created with the acceptance of a Discovery Grant from the GMF in 2002. The initial focus was to challenge each community to ‘discover’ what was needed in their town to improve early education and development for children ages birth to 8. With funds from the local League of Women’s Voters, a Community Conversation was held in March of 2003 to ask and to listen to the town. Representatives from town departments, social service providers, educators and parents spent several hours sharing their thoughts and suggestions. The parents in the group asked for help on two fronts. They wanted a directory of services that would identify the people and places they could access for information on family services and education for parents with young children. The second item that was important for them was a place for parents and children in the early years – birth to 5 to come together.
The WE CARE volunteer team made up of parents, teachers, town officials and early child care providers began to work on meeting the identified needs and in 2004 the first playgroup was launched – The Playful Cruisers.
In 2005 the bilingual playgroup-Bebes Activos-was launched for the Hispanic families in Wallingford. By 2014 WECARE is offering free playgroup activities every weekday at five different locations: YSS Family Resource Center,6 Fairfield Blvd.; Wallingford Community Day Care Center, 80 Wharton Brook Drive; Spanish Community of Wallingford, 284 Washington Street; Ulbrich Boys and Girls Club, 72 Grand Street; Moses Y Beach Elementary School, North Main Street.
In January 2014 WECARE received their IRS 501c 3 status.