His sister, Eliana Franciosa, was a new mother at the time and interested in applying her master's in mental health and school counseling in an early childhood setting.
So in June 2011, when the Beehive opened its doors, Ms. Franciosa was on staff. Her aim: To provide a positive sense of well-being for fellow staff and children.
"I plant myself in the classroom," Ms. Franciosa said. "I work together with the teachers and the children as a group, sit in on the circle group and will take a child aside for individual art therapy."
While she works with all children in general, Ms. Franciosa specializes in "challenging behavior." If a child exhibits aggression or other disruptive behavior, she helps that child interact in a more positive way.
She also offers family therapy.
Mr. Tropeano said he has always been community oriented, so helping families meet their needs soon became central to the Beehive's program.
"I wanted to reach out," he said. "Our days have gotten longer. Everyone's struggling with the economy and working harder to make ends meet. I wanted to make life easier for our families.
"Counselors are extremely expensive and we're providing that service at no extra cost. And rates are affordable."
The Beehive staff captures moments in toddlers' days on film, creating photo collages for parents to keep. The center's services are for children aged from 6 weeks to 12 years old.
New Milford mom Linda Conley said she likes to drop off her daughter, Shannon, 5, at the Beehive weekdays and "not have to worry."
"I'm comfortable knowing Shannon's there for the after-school program when her kindergarten class is over," said Ms. Conley. "I couldn't imagine not having that. These days, both parents in a family have to work."
Ms. Conley said she appreciates that Mr. Tropeano is frequently on the premises, available for parents if they should need him.
"The staff is great and the director is a friend," Ms. Conley said. "She's very caring, very loving and very good with kids."
Beehive Children's Center is at 278 Danbury Road, New Milford.
For more information, call 860-355-8534 or visit www.beehivechildrenscenter.com.