In the 1960s,
Ellen Happ Leffever Thomas worked as a school teacher in the Central Bucks School Districts and Archdiocese of Philadelphia. While working in various schools ranging from Titus Elementary to Our Lady Mt. Carmel, she recognized the need for quality child care (not just babysitting) to accommodate the growing work force of two income families. In the 60s a working mother's only options were Nursery Schools that only offered 2 or 3 days a week from 9-11am. She understood as a working parent herself, that 2 or 3 hours, a few days a week wouldn't allow for two full time working parents.
To fulfill this need, Ellen went to the Department of Education to apply for certification to create The Curiosity Shoppe. In 1963, the Curiosity Shoppe became officially licensed. Originally located on Dogwood Lane Doylestown, PA, The school started as a small Pre-School in her home. It began with 4 teachers and an aid, and 40 children in 4 rooms and a green house on 3 wooded acres.
Recently widowed, Ellen was offered a position as an Adjunct Professor at Lehigh University. It was decision time... Close her school and accept the college position or continue with her private pre-school. While considering her options a book called The Toddler Center arrived in the mail. Deciding this was the answer to her prayers. She committed herself to expanding her school to create a child are center. In her research, she was offered a facility to possibly rent for the expansion.
Ellen met William Thomas and the two became friends first and business partners second. The Toddler Center and Curiosity Shoppe was up and running at two different locations. A large property was sought to house both businesses and the current location fit the bill. The new facility opened with an enrollment of 111 students.
In the summer of 1981 Camp Curiosity came in to being offering a fun and educational experience for ages 7 through 17. The younger ages already had the benefit of year-round activities and learning.
Curiosity is still a family owned and run business. Ellen and William Thomas are still very involved in the school.
When Ellen Thomas is not planning lessons for the after-school program and summer camp program areas, she participating on educational boards to discuss the future of education in bucks county.
William Thomas, when he is not working around the campus providing upkeep for our farm, you will see him on the polo field in Tinicum. At Tinicum, he serves at the President of the Tinicum Polo Club.
In 2007, Ellen and William's son Jeremiah took Director position of the Summer Camp while teaching at a local middle school.
In 2009, Jeremiah married Caitlin Farley. Caitlin had met Jeremiah working at Curiosity in 2007. Caitlin currently works as an Asst. Director to all program areas and is finishing a Master's Degree in Early Childhood Education.
In 2011, Jeremiah and Caitlin had a beautiful daughter named Evelyn.
In 2011, Jeremiah completed his Master's Degree in Educational Administration. Upon completion of his degree, he accepted the position of Director/Head of School for the Curiosity Shoppe & Toddler Center.
We have evolved into one of the leading educational facilities of Bucks County.