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Non Profit Child Care Outlook: After 160 Years, It's Time to Change

by Roger Neugebauer
May/June 2006
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Article Link: https://www.childcareexchange.com/article/non-profit-child-care-outlook-after-160-years-its-time-to-change/5016958/

In 1835, movers and shakers in New York City, including Mrs. Isabelle Graham (whose picture appeared on the cover of the November 1990 issue of Exchange), Mrs. Alexander Hamilton, DeWitt Clinton, Peter Stuyvesant, and Jennie Lind established the nation's first non profit child care center (Neugebauer, November 1990). The "Society for the Relief of Half Orphan and Destitute Children" was established so that the children of "poor but worthy parents" who needed to could "go to their daily labors" knowing their children "would be trained for some practical, useful course for life" and "taught their duties and responsibilities as members of society." Since that time, non profit early childhood organizations have played a critical role in meeting the needs of low income children and families.

During the intervening 160 years, the structure and goals of non profit programs have changed surprisingly little. Today, however, changes in parental interests and in public funding are forcing non profit organizations to rethink the ways they function. To explore what lies ahead, we first need to take a look at some current challenges and opportunities confronting non profits.

Challenges 2006

In interviewing non profit directors and non profit watchers, I have found that the litany of ...

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