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The Heroic Beginnings of Child Care

by Roger Neugebauer and Debra Hartzell
November/December 2010
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Article Link: https://www.childcareexchange.com/article/the-heroic-beginnings-of-child-care/5019634/

The field of early care and education has a long, proud history. In conducting research on the oldest child care centers in the United States, we discovered 75 organizations (see complete list on pages 36 and 38) that have been in operation more than 90 years; the oldest of which, Newark Day Care Center, has been in operation for 207 years!

Rather than summarizing the many stories of these historic programs, we will let them tell their own amazing stories.

Sheltering Arms Early Education and Family Centers
Atlanta, Georgia
Our organization was founded in 1888 and chartered in 1900 by a group of women from the First United Methodist Church in downtown Atlanta. While delivering mended clothes to the needy, they found a child tied to a bedpost for 'safekeeping' while her mother worked long hours in a cotton mill. Determined to help, they began caring for the first children in 1888 in an abandoned railroad boxcar. They soon were able to talk cotton mill owners into providing space for them to care for the children on site in the cotton mills. This was no doubt among the first 'corporate sponsored' child care.

Graham-Windham Services
New York, New York
In 1806, Mrs. Isabella Graham, Mrs. Alexander Hamilton, and ...

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