In 1971, a small but determined group of Seacoast mothers raising children with special needs, founded the Richie McFarland Children’s Center to offer social and therapeutic programs for children—and support for their families.
The founding families realized their goal, and RMCC has since grown to become a family-focused, evidence-based, transdisciplinary organization that helps young children, with and without special needs. RMCC offers a range of individualized programs including early childhood special education, comprehensive pediatric therapy services and preschool readiness. We also offer family support by educating, encouraging, and empowering every family member to best meet the needs of their child.
RMCC was founded in 1971 by local mothers seeking play and learning opportunities for their children with special needs. No such community programs existed at the time, and the founding families had the insight to create a program that continues to be a model of early intervention services. The organization was named Richie McFarland Children’s Center as a tribute to one of the first participants, who tragically succumbed to his illness at a very young age.
Get more familiar with RMCC’s founding families:
WATCH: Honoring Our Past
Historically Speaking: The Legacy of Richie McFarland (Seacoast Online)
RMCC is an early childhood program whose purpose is to help young children reach their full developmental potential and to support their families through that process.
We envision a community in which all children enter school ready to learn and families feel competent in supporting their children’s growth and development and confident in their role as advocates for their children.
We partner with families and caregivers in pursuit of each child’s brightest future. In order to work successfully with children and their families, we must identify and develop common goals, support one another to accomplish every task, and strive to be our individual and collective best.
Core Values & Our Promise
RMCC staff and therapists are bound together by a shared belief in professionalism, family empowerment, and the therapeutic power of play. In all we do, RMCC promises to treat each child as an individual, to inspire family members to be a confident caregiver, and to ensure our services reduce or eliminate the need for more extensive, expensive education services in the future.
RMCC invests our time in initiatives that help ensure child development and family support services continue to be provided, regardless of a family’s ability to pay. We are committed to collaborating with appropriate agencies, discovering new sources of revenue, and empowering and educating the community to advocate for effective systems of care for children and families.
RMCC grows and thrives under the leadership of three collaborating entities:
Board of Directors
The RMCC Board is comprised of a diverse group of professionals and community members united in their commitment to the mission. In addition to providing fiduciary oversight, RMCC Board members generously provide guidance in their area of expertise, oversee strategic planning, support fundraising efforts, and volunteer at our signature events.
Peggy Small Porter ([email protected]) has been part of the RMCC team since 1984, starting as an Occupational Therapist and transitioning to Executive Director in 1997. Steadfast in her commitment to children and families, Peggy is our most visible ambassador. She serves on numerous state committees, advocating for best practices, system improvements, and a more comprehensive and coordinated system of care for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers with developmental challenges, as well as support and services for families.
RMCC has a small but effective management team focused on addressing the financial and compliance aspects of our non-profit organization, as well as the coordination and oversight of clinical services.
Learn more with RMCC's most recent Annual Reports.