It was a bitter cold February in 1903 when Mrs. Theodore B. Culver heard about small children who were left alone in a barn all day while their parents went off to work. When she went to see if this was true, she found the children huddled together in the straw to keep warm.
Surmising that there were other families who had no safe place to leave their children while they worked, Mrs. Culver took immediate action. She quickly found a safe, warm place and volunteers to care for the children. In March of 1903, the Jenkintown Day Nursery opened its doors to six children, six days a week. Their parents were charged six cents a day.
Within six months of opening, larger quarters were needed, and JDN was moved to Thomas and Water Streets in the Borough of Jenkintown. In the early years, the Nursery was sustained by contributions, charity teas, rummage sales, and donations of cash, wood, coal, food and clothing. Classes were held for the parents, teaching sewing, cooking and gardening. Lectures and entertainment were also offered. Fees were set on a sliding scale based on income, as they still are today.
By the 1960s, the need for child care had increased. Our current facility at Baeder and Hilltop roads was built, and the nursery moved there in 1965. Thanks to generous donations for our Centennial celebration in 2003, we added our Playhouse, a multi-purpose building which accommodates art, movement and music classes and indoor play.
For more than 100 years we have remained faithful to our mission to provide affordable, quality, educational child care to our families.