Empowering Women through Educating Children
In the 1970’s many women were prevented from attending college by the absence of quality childcare. Carriage House emerged to meet that need. Chatham College partnered with the school by offering a carriage house to house the program. With some child-friendly renovations, the school opened its doors in 1974. We were one of the first full-day child care centers in Pittsburgh to provide quality preschool programming. Nearly 50 years later, we are still helping families to thrive. The intervening decades have brought many fruitful partnerships and a new home: the Wightman Building in Squirrel Hill.
Natalie Kaplan started the Carriage House in 1974 to nurture the creativity of children & support their families
A Pittsburgh native, Natalie Kaplan attended elementary school at Wightman Elementary—the very building that now houses Carriage House Children’s Center. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Child Development from Pennsylvania State University and a Master’s degree in Kindergarten Primary Education from the University of Pittsburgh, followed by a prestigious graduate assistantship under the supervision of Drs. Benjamin Spock and Margaret McFarland.
Recognizing the need for quality preschool services with full-day programs for young children, Natalie founded Carriage House Children’s Center in 1974.
Kaplan is a tireless advocate for quality early childhood education and care. Recognizing the need for quality preschool services with full-day programs for young children, Natalie founded Carriage House Children’s Center in 1974. At Carriage House, Kaplan created an unparalleled early childhood program that inspired and elevated childcare in the area. A visionary in her field, many of Natalie Kaplan’s early goals are taken for granted today. Her innovations, including expanded operating hours to meet family work schedules, hiring teachers with specialized credentials, and maintaining a high teacher-to-child ratio, are now standard.