New “Playdate” Program at the Library with the Early Childhood Coalition

Story provided by Stillwater Public Library

The Stillwater Public Library (SPL) and Early Childhood Coalition (ECC) are hosting a new series called “Playdate” at the library starting May 13, from 10 a.m. – noon, and continuing on the second Saturday of the month through July. The series encourages children to engage with other kids while playing with toys, puzzles and books while the adults engage in casual conversations about parenting, child development and more. These in-person events are drop-in and free and open to all families. 

Holly Hartman from the Early Childhood Coalition will be present to provide information about local resources and “The Basics.” 

“The Basics” are five parenting and caregiving strategies that support young children’s social, emotional and cognitive development. They were developed from research at The Achievement Gap Initiative at Harvard. “The Basics” don’t require fancy toys or extra hours in the day – they can be a part of everyday routines at home and school. Learn more at

Elizabeth Murray, children’s services librarian, knows support is crucial for parents and caregivers of young children. 

“Parenting, especially young children, can be a really difficult and confusing time,” Murray said. “Being able to talk with other parents and experts in an informal setting can provide the support and encouragement many caregivers need.”

The Early Childhood Coalition brings area agencies, businesses, schools and healthcare providers together to promote healthy growth and development in young children. ECC funds and manages the “Healthy Steps” program at Stillwater Medical Center Pediatric Clinic and promotes the “Better Brain Campaign” across the community. 

ECC hopes parents and caregivers will enjoy this opportunity to share ideas for enriching their family relationships and explore ways to add play-based learning to their daily routines.

Registration is not required but those interested can sign up to receive reminder emails at More information about ECC and its other programs can be found at

The Stillwater Public Library is located at 1107 S. Duck St. Library hours are Monday- Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Thursday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.