Our History Of
Shaping The Future

Since 1976, Children’s Village has been setting the highest standard of quality and preparing thousands of young children to achieve their potential.

Our Diversity Distinguishes Us

Since we opened, we have welcomed and supported a diverse community of families, staff, and volunteers. Our commitment to diversity continues today.

Our Families Make Us Proud

Today, mothers and fathers who had attended Children’s Village decades ago enroll their children here. Some of these “second generation” enrollees are in classrooms with the same teachers who taught their parents. In addition, several parents of current and former enrollees are teaching in our classrooms. To top it off, some of our former enrollees are now teaching here!

Here’s A Snapshot Of Our History, From Our Start

Children’s Village opens as one of the first industry-related state-licensed child care centers in Center City Philadelphia. The non-profit Council for Revitalization of Labor and Industry (CLI) leads the collaborative effort to create a high-quality early care and education program for children of parents working in the unionized garment industry. Partners include: the International Ladies Garment Workers Union, the Amalgamated Unions, Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare, and area foundations.

Children’s Village’s program offers high-quality care and education, meals prepared in our on-site kitchen, and support services for families.

Children’s Village moves (across the street) to our current home.

Children’s Village becomes independent from CLI. Children’s Village adds The Toddler Program to respond to the needs of our community.

Children’s Village is among the first programs in Philadelphia to earn accreditation by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).

Children’s Village is among the first programs eligible to participate in Child Care Matters (CCM), a collaboration of key local child care organizations in Southeastern Pennsylvania established to improve accessibility, affordability, and quality care. CMM, which runs through 2003, is funded by the William Penn Foundation and United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania. CMM provides subsidies for low-income children to be enrolled in accredited child care sites and improves teacher education by providing scholarships to child care workers through T.E.A.C.H. (Teacher Education and Compensation Helps).

Children’s Village collaborates with a local Head Start agency and opens one of the first Head Start/Child Care Collaborative programs in Pennsylvania.

Children’s Village plans and embarks on a major expansion project to respond to the ever-growing number of families turning to our exemplary program. The Women’s Community Revitalization Project spearheads our capital campaign. Major grants from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development and the William Penn Foundation ensure the successful fundraising effort. The result: our space expands, nearly doubling to 300 the number of children we can serve. The new facilities also accommodate programmatic changes to reflect best practice approaches regarding class size.

Children’s Village opens a small after-school program for a handful of school-age children. This program evolves into The School-Age Program, which enriches out-of-school time for more than 100 children annually.

Children’s Village participates in the Early to Learn (E2L) initiative. United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania implements E2L to improve children’s physical, social, emotional, language, and cognitive school-readiness skills that lead to success in the classroom.

Children’s Village earns the Delaware Valley Association for the Education of Young Children (DVAEYC) Early Childhood Program Best Places to Work Award.

Children’s Village enters into an agreement with the School District of Philadelphia to continue as a Head Start provider. Services expand, enhancing our counseling, interpretation and translation, and other support programs for families.

Our decade-old “lending library on wheels” now has a permanent home — our on-site PNC GROW UP GREAT Library opens with 1,500 titles. Today, it houses more than 3,000 books.

Children’s Village is recognized as one of the top ten early childhood education centers in the nation for excellence in Engaging Diverse Families. Children’s Village Earns National Award for Engaging Diverse Families) by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).

Children’s Village marks 35 years of high-quality early care and education. Children’s Village makes room to welcome more children to our home at 125 N. 8th Street, Philadelphia. We expand to our 5th floor, adding three new classrooms.

The growth step responds to the community’s need for our part-day/part-year Preschool Program and the School District of Philadelphia’s invitation to increase the number of preschoolers we serve through Head Start. The new preschool classrooms, which are unoccupied in the late afternoon and summer, double as School-Age Program classrooms. Our School-Age Program, which had been serving kindergartners, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd graders, now also includes 4th, 5th, and 6th graders.

Children’s Village celebrates 36 years of serving children, families, and our community. Children’s Village awarded NAEYC reaccreditation, earning near-perfect scores.

After two years of fundraising, Children’s Village renovates its on-site commercial kitchen in August. The redesigned facility and equipment upgrades accommodate our ever-growing enrollment and our higher nutrition standards.

In September, we add a 7th School-Age Program classroom to respond to community need. One of our part-day, part-year preschool classrooms doubles as the new classroom, allowing us to maximize the capacity of our existing space.

Children’s Village welcomes 450+ toddlers, preschoolers, and school-age children, the most in our history. While we are proud to respond to the needs of our community and serve an ever-growing number of children and families, we are equally proud to maintain our commitment to excellence for every child.

Happy 40th Birthday to us! In recognition of our outstanding contributions to a healthier Philadelphia region, Children’s Village is a 2015 GSK IMPACT Award Winner, one of only ten local nonprofits selected for the honor.  Presented in partnership with United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey (UWGPSNJ), the GSK IMPACT Award carries a $40,000 prize.

Children’s Village’s Board of Directors also adopts a new Strategic Plan, our sixth, for 2015-2018.  To read our new Mission, Vision, and Core Values, visit About Us.

Children’s Village continues to set the standard of early learning excellence, as highlighted in an article in The Philadelphia InquirerThe Philadelphia Inquirer January 31, 2016 A quality pre-k program dedciated to its mission. Children’s Village undertakes the renovation of our well-loved 2nd floor play deck, replacing the climbing wall, adding a play table scaled for younger children, and installing a new frame and awning.  Children’s Village marks its 40th year!

Through professional development trainings, our PQAS-certified administrators and teachers are sharing their expertise through a range of courses, including S.T.E.M. in the After-School Classroom, Digital Literacy, and an array of business administration workshops for program directors.

Extraordinary foundation funding is helping Children’s Village fully realize its vision to create Philadelphia’s first hands-on professional Learning Lab for early learning educators within a high-quality early learning program. The William Penn Foundation gave two previous Learning Lab-related grants, and its November 2017 funding is supporting classroom renovations.  The grant is ensuring our facilities best accommodate our professional development efforts. The McLean Contributionship also awarded a grant for adult classrooms.

The Learning Lab involves a two-phase construction plan.  First, in spring 2018, we opened new state-of-the-art adult learning classrooms. As a bonus, the classroom space can be reconfigured into a much-needed indoor play area for our toddlers, preschoolers, and school-age students. The second phase, which we completed in June 2019, includes improvements to our 1st-5th floors. These renovations are facilitating classroom observations as a seamless component of our professional development efforts.   We are sharing our expertise with more teachers, directors, student-teachers and support staff in a new facility-wide Learning Lab.

It Takes A Village

A non-profit, private, independent agency, Children’s Village could not have accomplished so much without the passion and expertise of so many. Children’s Village is grateful to those who have shaped our past, including: families, advocates, teachers, volunteers, public and private funding partners, and community, political, and labor leaders. We also appreciate those who enhance our mission today and share our vision for the future.

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