Welcome to Happy Time!

A Beloved Downtown Mystic Preschool since 1967


A Play-Based Learning Environment

We offer 3’s and 4’s classes with two, three, and five day programs.

About Our Program 


Happy Time is a nursery school that allows each child freedom to learn through play, art and socialization in a developmentally appropriate environment. The curriculum, which emphasizes discovery rather than an academic approach, is established to encompass the development of each child. Children of all faiths, and beliefs attend our non profit, private nursery school. The school celebrates Christian holidays and the children share a short prayer at snack time. 


We encourage each child to be curious and kind, to continue their sense of adventure, to think creatively, and to nourish their sense of self worth. 

Happy Time Philosophy

We believe that who a child is, is far more important than what the child can do.
Happy Time goals include, but are not limited to, the following:


To provide a richly varied environment in which children can begin to discover who they are in relation to other children and adults.


To provide materials for children to explore space, the natural environment, use of their body, and the thinking process.


To provide opportunities for children to try out behaviors and to begin to understand their responses of others to their behavior.


To offer experiences which will allow children the right to make choices, thus enabling them to begin to develop their value system.

Happy Time Staff

Sue DeStefano, Director

Sue holds a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education from the University of Connecticut. She has taught young children for a total of 33 years — and has been at Happy Time since 1992. She has two daughters, both Happy Time alumni, and lives in Mystic with her husband, Carmine, and their two cats. Sue has two granddaughters who are Happy Time grads.

Linda Clark

Linda holds an Associate’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from the University of Maine at Farmington and has also attended the University of New Haven. Linda has a Head Teacher Certification and has been with Happy Time for 18 years. In addition, she has experience with home day care and public school education. Linda teaches both classes at Happy Time. She is the mother of three children, all of whom are Happy Time alums, and has one grandchild who attends Happy Time. Linda resides in Mystic with her husband, Bobby. 

Some GOOD Words…

here’s what a few of our parents have to say:

My daughter attended Happy Time for 3’s and 4’s and she absolutely loved her introduction to “school”. Linda and Sue are so patient and kind. Some favorite things about Happy Time: painting every day, the salt dough table, snack time, dancing and singing songs with friends, playing outside even in the snow! Each class gets to walk up the hill to the Mystic & Noank Library for story time on several occasions, and once per year, down the hill they go to Mystic Pizza! I highly recommend Happy Time and can’t wait for my younger child to attend in the future. 
– Meredith F. from Mystic, CT

Both of my children have attended Happy Time. I chose Happy Time because, after looking at many other nursery schools and pre-schools, it was the only one I could find that is play-based and recognizes that children were designed to learn through play. All of the other preschools around will say that they know this, but yet they still cater to the kindergarten curriculum, prepping children for it at the age of 3 and 4 by asking them to do tasks that are way beyond their developmental level. I was so impressed by Happy Time and their pure love of children and how they are designed to learn. They just get it. I LOVE happy time for what it offers the children and I wish more people realized what a unique place this little school is.

Three of my kiddos went to Happy Time Nursery School, and it was one of the best parenting decisions I have ever made. The love and gentle guidance that is provided at the school in a child-friendly, play-based way by their experienced teachers is invaluable. They have gone on to elementary school loving school and learning, have done well academically and sociably, due in a large part to the positive first school experience they had at HT.
– Danielle W.

Most affordable program in town! My kids all attended Happy Time for preschool and adored their time there. I especially loved the artwork sent home each day. Story time, the toys and play activities, learning about dinosaurs, volcanos were all a big hit in our house. They never wanted to leave! I will always treasure those years. What a magical place Happy Time is. Thank you to the UBC for sponsoring this great program! 
– Jen B. from Groton

Contact Us

Happy Time Nursery School
Located in the rear of the Union Baptist Church
119 High St, Mystic CT 06355
On Baptist Hill in Downtown Mystic


    © 2018 Happy Time Nursery School