Founded in 1972, Rainbow Fleet grew out of one Montessori teacher’s belief that the very best early childhood teaching methods could be shared by providing child care professionals with resources and materials to support appropriate learning environments for young children. This concept, in conjunction with the modeling and mentoring from early childhood specialists, provided a component of support for teachers and caregivers. Rainbow Fleet’s founder, Dr. Peggy Loeffler, took the lead in establishing this initiative that grew to become Rainbow Fleet.
The early beginnings of Rainbow Fleet were built around Dr. Loeffler’s idea to fill a mobile education unit with learning materials, toys, art projects and books. The key to quality service would be to staff the mobile libraries with trained early childhood professionals. By taking the resources directly into child care and early education programs, Rainbow Fleet could reach large numbers of children, families and caregivers.
While the methodology changed with time, and the programs and projects adapted based on needs assessments and priorities, the mission remained the same. Rainbow Fleet expanded the mobile toy lending library concept and developed a Child Care Resource Center which allows for greater access to more resources and materials. We have also grown to include added programs and services including Child Care Resource and Referral, Child Care Training and Technical Assistance, the Quality Enhancement Initiative, and the Child and Adult Care Food Program. The existence of these programs serve as a testament to our commitment to the underlying mission of Rainbow Fleet, which remains as strong today as it did more than 45 years ago.
Rainbow Fleet is a 501(c)3 organization. As a non-profit, all donations are tax deductible.