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HISTORY – THEN & NOW

 

A Bright Beginning:
 

In 1892, a group of visionary Passaic City ladies founded Children’s Day Nursery and Family Center. Their decision to open a childcare center was in response to the emerging need presented by the changing complexion of "traditional" families that were settling in the City. Passaic was fast becoming home to hundreds of working class families from Holland, Poland, Germany, and Italy. Before the Founding Mothers opened the Center’s doors, there was no affordable daycare for the growing number of two parent working families. The mission these ladies so passionately embraced was to provide a safe, affordable "home away from home" for children of working parents.

By the turn of the century, Children’s Day Nursery of Passaic (the1893 incorporated name), had earned deserving public praise and recognition for its dedicated service to the community. The Founding Mothers capitalized on the Nursery’s good reputation. In 1906, they campaigned vigorously to raise enough money in order to build a more personal “home away from home” that they could truly call their own. The stately brick building that is located at 104 Jefferson Street, and pictured on this page, has been home to thousands of families since its opening celebration in 1907.

 


Who We Are Now:
 

More than a century later, Passaic City continues to attract immigrant families who struggle to make ends meet, but today these families are coming from a variety of Latino and South American countries. The “two parent” European families of a century ago have gradually been replaced by “single female parent” Hispanic families. These two startling changes to family dynamics have created new more complex challenges to our mission.

 
In 1991, the Center responded to these very challenges by expanding programming to include early intervention services for delayed, at-risk children and evening support services for parents. Over the course of the next four years, the Board of Directors tracked the impact that these enhanced offerings had on participating children and parents. The data showed an increase in the number of positive outcomes from year to year. Consequently, in 1995 the Board of Directors decided to change the Nursery’s incorporated name to Children’s Day Nursery and Family Center so that it would more accurately reflect the revitalized mission and “family systems” driven program model.

Children’s Day Nursery and Family Center, 104 Jefferson Street, Passaic, NJ 07055