A Day at Associated
Are you a new parent looking to enroll your child at Associated? Or a potential donor looking to learn more about our curriculum? Below is a sample of a child’s typical day at Associated. We provide opportunities to meet individual and group needs through a broad range of learning activities such as music, cooking, science, play (indoor and outdoor), art, language, and games.
7:30-9:30am: Drop off, Breakfast
Parents drop little ones off at their center or provider home. Children eat a nutritionally-balanced breakfast, planned by our Director of Nutrition, Janet Rose. All meals are eaten “family-style” around a table, where children can have conversations with their teachers and classmates. As the children filter in and eat their breakfast, they can participate in the activity of their choice, such as coloring pictures, playing with building blocks, or dramatic play.
9:30-12:00pm: Group and individual activities, Outdoor play, Field trips
Children follow the activity led by the classroom’s Lead Teacher. Activities are timely and engage the children in the world around them, for example: reading books about Rosa Parks during Black History Month, crafting paper hearts in February, or making bumblebees out of play dough during the summertime.
12:00-1:00pm: Lunch time
Children enjoy a nutritionally-balanced lunch together. A sample meal the children might share is: whole wheat rice and beans, fresh pepper sticks, melon, and milk.
1:00-3:00pm: Rest/Nap time
Little ones wake up well-rested and ready for a healthy afternoon snack.
3:30-5:30pm: Group and individual activities, Free play, Outdoor play, Pick up
After snack time, children will engage in some combination of group/individual activities and free or outdoor play, depending on what the Lead Teacher has planned. Sixty minutes of physical activity is provided daily.
*Schedules for younger children are more flexible since their needs for naps vary. Daily schedules and weekly curriculum are posted in each classroom.
Thank you to Mim Adkins for three of the above photos—visit her page here to see more of her beautiful photography, including a slideshow of children at one of our Roxbury centers.
Associated has benefitted from the support of many kind donors. Please see the PDFs below for a listing of donors, grouped by giving level. THANK YOU for all that you do for Associated!
Through Fiscal Year 2012
Check back for information on how we strengthen our work force.
We are a leader in shaping public policy on the local, state, and federal level. Working with partners across the country, Associated advocates for accessible, affordable, high quality early care and education.
In 1994, Associated Early Care and Education launched the Boston Early Education Quality Improvement Project (Boston EQUIP) with the broad mission “to collaborate with members of the Boston early education community to systematically evaluate, set goals for, and improve upon the quality of early childhood programs.”
In 1995, Boston EQUIP conducted its first inventory of the early care and education system in Boston, collecting data about young children, facilities and program quality. This original inventory, developed from existing validated and reliable survey tools used elsewhere in early childhood research, went on to become the template for the Massachusetts Department of Education’s Community Profiles surveys.
Boston EQUIP has refined the Community Profiles surveys, surveying the field every two years.
For more information, please visit Boston EQUIP‘s website.
Health and Wellness
Associated Early Care and Education is committed to providing to the “whole child” through comprehensive wellness plans (both prevention and intervention) that focus in the areas of fitness, nutrition; health care access; mental health; nature and art therapy. We strive to build healthier, stronger communities with a specific focus on the prevention of childhood obesity and promoting healthy lifestyles for the children and families of the Greater Boston area. Associated is wholly invested in creating a new paradigm of early wellness and fitness education, including training our staff at the highest levels.
Associated is dedicated to promoting good nutrition to our children in order to ensure their success both at our centers and later in life. Through teaching our children and their families about healthy foods and drinks, we hope to aid in the prevention of childhood obesity and promoting healthy lifestyles.
Each day, our children are served well-balanced and nourishing meals. We are responsible for approximately two thirds of the children’s daily nutritional requirements, which are provided through breakfast, lunch, and snacks. Menus are planned in advance by a registered dietitian. They are posted at each program and extra copies are available for parents to have. Emphasis is placed on variety, nutritional content, portion sizes, age groups, and ethnic backgrounds. Meals are heartier in the winter, when soups, stews, and casseroles are served, and are lighter in the summer with concentration on seasonal fruits and vegetables.
Since it is our philosophy that children benefit from a healthy environment as well, our meals are served family-style. Children are taught age-appropriate tasks, such as setting the table, passing bowls of food to one another, and assisting with clean up. Educators act as role models and play a critical role in developing children’s behaviors and attitudes about food. By complying with the high standards set forth by the Child and Adult Care Food Program and Associated Early Care & Education, we assure that the quality of our meals is consistent.
Below are samples of two seasonal meals we serve in our centers and educator homes.Example #1
Boneless Barbequed Chicken
Multigrain Slider Roll
Mashed Sweet Potato
Whole Wheat Rice and Beans
Fresh Pepper Sticks
Health and Wellness Blog
Capital Campaign Donors
Thank you to all our generous donors to the capital campaign. Please see this PDF that lists our capital campaign donors through FY12 (up until August 31, 2012).
If you’re interested in enrolling your child with Associated and you’ve already read the Looking for Care page, please follow the instructions below.
1. Fill out the Child Care Application and scan/email or fax to the contact listed at the bottom.
2. If you’re unsure whether you qualify for an income eligible slot, please see the Income Eligibility Table.
3. You must be on the state’s waitlist to apply for an income eligible slot. If you’re not on the state’s waitlist, dial 211 to be connected to Mass211, a state agency that will help put you on the waitlist.
Quality Early Education
Associated invests in school readiness, promoting healthy development, and strengthening families for 1,500 of Greater Boston’s neediest young children, birth to age five, in our six centers and 140 family care settings.
Associated provides nurturing, child-focused environments which promote children’s development of skills in social, emotional, physical and cognitive areas. Emphasis is placed on establishing each child’s sense of security and self-esteem, which we believe is vital to the development of confidence, curiosity about learning, independence, and the establishment of meaningful social ties.
All Associated’s programs plan a stimulating, interesting curriculum to meet children’s individual needs. We believe that helping children feel good about themselves is one of the most important parts of our program. An equally important part is supporting families as they raise their children, and we view our positive relationships with families as a key to this support. We encourage family involvement in every aspect of Associated Early Care and Education.
A March 2010 Root Cause and Social Impact Research report on school readiness for at-risk children in MA named Associated as one of the ten highest performing early education providers. A leader in Boston’s early education community, in 1994 Associated launched the Boston Early Education Quality Improvement Project (Boston EQUIP) to collaborate with members of the Boston early education community to systematically evaluate, set goals for, and improve upon the quality of early childhood programs.
All our programs are licensed by the Department of Early Education and Care (EEC).
Root Cause Social Impact Report
The Learning Center Capital Campaign
The Learning Center Brochure
Associated In the News
February 13, 2013: The Boston Indicators Project blog, an initiative of The Boston Foundation, “Indicator of the Week: High Quality Early Education”
February 7, 2013: Aspire Institute blog, of Wheelock College, “Great learning space is a right, not a privilege”
November 13, 2012: Strategies for Children blog, “Innovative Early Learning Center Coming to Boston”
November 8, 2012: Boston.com, “Bromley-Heath housing complex to get $16 million learning center that focuses on entire families
November 5, 2012: Boston Business Journal, “JP gets new $16M childcare center”
November 2, 2012: Jamaica Plain Patch, “$16 Million Early Childhood Learning Center to Be Built at Bromley-Heath
November 2, 2012: Boston Neighborhood Network News, “New Learning Center to Open at Bromley-Heath”
November 2, 2012: Boston Globe, “Bromley-Heath housing complex to get $16 million learning center that focuses on entire families”
April 27, 2012: Melrose Patch, “Representative Paul Brodeur Participates in ‘Brain Building Progress Week of the Young Child.’”
April 27, 2012: Wicked Local Melrose, “Gallery: Melrose Lawmakers at ‘Brain Building in Progress Week.’”
April 26, 2012: YouTube video: “Representative Brodeur reads to children.”
April 22, 2012: Boston Globe, “Picky palates a challenge for nutritionist.”
March 27, 2012: Panorama Magazine, Bostonian of the Day: Wayne Ysaguirre
March 2, 2012: The Boston Globe, Letter to the Editor: “Schools Should Partner with early education providers,” by Wayne Ysguirre.
February 19, 2012: WHDH Ch. 7 Urban Update
February 16, 2012: BNN-TV, Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department
February 10, 2012: Boston Business Journal, “Early emphasis: Wayne Ysaguirre’s passion is helping children succeed in life.”
January 27, 2012: WBZ Ch. 38 Centro, “AECE: Helping Boston Children and Their Families.”
December 16, 2011: Boston Business Journal, “For-profit knowledge and nonprofit early education.”
Health and Wellness Blog
In March 2012, Associated launched the Health and Wellness Blog as a resource for our families. The blog, also translated into Spanish, highlights a wealth of information and provides resources and tips for ways our familes (and yours!) can lead healthy, well-informed daily lives. The blog is fully funded by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts. Below is just a sample of the information we cover on the blog:
- Monthly “Eat Fresh, Live Healthy” newsletters that highlight a specific fruit or vegetable and provide a delicious recipe featuring the selected produce of the month. The newsletter is prepared by our Director of Nutrition and Food Service, Janet Rose.
- Photos and notes from the classroom—see the health and wellness-related lessons our kids our learning
- Relatable tips for parents on choosing and preparing the most healthy AND delicious foods
- Resources for free local outdoor events for families to enjoy
Visit our Health and Wellness Blog at AssociatedFamilies.com. Let us know what you think and leave us a comment—don’t be shy!
Check back for information on organizations in the community that collaborate with Associated.
Check back for a glimpse into the state of early education in Massachusetts and the U.S., and why a state-of-the-art Learning Center is desperately needed.
The New Learning Center
The Learning Center at Bromley-Heath public housing development in Jamaica Plain, MA is a comprehensive approach to helping children succeed in school and life, an approach that looks at the whole child and family in the context of community. The center incorporates the most creative thinking and evidence-based practices from a variety of fields to create a unique and comprehensive neighborhood-centric early childhood education program that will serve families as well as their children. We broke ground in Bromley-Heath in December 2012 and have raised over 90% of the $15.6 million needed to construct the Learning Center.
Annually, the Learning Center will:
- Serve 175 children ages 0-8 years, their siblings and their families through wraparound preschool and after school programming.
- Provide 148 slots for parent/adult learners in career-focused courses
- Train 150 early educators in Boston to bring best practices to all Centers and Family Child Care programs
- Reach 1,000 low-income families with parenting workshops, financial literacy, and health/nutrition programs in coordination with the United Way
- Support other place-based initiatives
The Learning Center model relies on a network of partnerships with other organizations in the community that seek to provide complementary services. We will work together to pool our resources and deliver the most comprehensive care to children and families in the community.
Be on the lookout for more in-depth information about The Learning Center, including innovative programming details, full-color building and outdoor space drawings, and more.
What We Do
WE DELIVER a comprehensive range of services that nurtures 1,500 plus children every day supporting their families and their communities. Activities and services include six early care and education centers; 140 family child care educators; curricula designed to develop each child’s cognitive, social-emotional, physical, literacy and pre-math skills; high quality classrooms measured using research-based tools; mental health and social services to children in our programs and citywide; and nutritional support and education.
WE ASSIST early care and education programs and family child care educators in achieving accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and the National Association for Family Child Care (NAFCC). Associated offers programs a multi-layered outcome measurement system using research-based tools for: child assessments to help determine school readiness; individual classroom assessments focused on quality; and program accreditation.
WE WORK with Boston’s early care and education community to use data to drive improvements in the quality of early care and education through Associated’s Boston Early Education Quality Improvement Project (Boston EQUIP). Activities include setting goals and benchmarks for quality; assessing supply and demand; and conducting research to understand the opportunities and challenges facing the field’s workforce. Together with the Mayor’s Office, Boston EQUIP manages the Data and Research Team (DART) of Thrive in Five: Boston’s School Readiness Roadmap.
Types of Care
Early Care and Education Center Programs
Our infant, toddler, and preschool group care programs have:
- 3 to 5 classrooms
- Toddler classrooms have 9 children and preschool classrooms average 16 children
- Our teaching staff maintains an adult to child ratio of 1:4.5 in toddler classrooms and 1:8 in preschool classrooms
- Each teaching team plans a daily schedule, emphasizing individual attention, small and large group activities, and active play
- Each classroom reflects areas of interest such as block-building, dramatic play, sand and water, storytelling, science, and creative arts
- We maximize opportunities for gross motor, fine motor, and language development
The overall goal of all programming is to nurture each child’s self esteem by creating situations where the child can successfully explore, experiment, and be challenged.
Family Child Care
Family child care takes place in the home of a caregiver (called a provider) who is recruited, contracted with, trained and subsequently supervised by an Associated family day care coordinator. Each family child care home has up to six children from 3 months to six years of age. No more than two children under the age of two are served in a family child care home. The daily schedule in each family child care home varies according to the needs and ages of the children as well as the schedules of their parents. The unique aspects of family child care are the small groups of children in each home and the flexible hours of service.
Our programs have a combination of basic, Department of Children and Families (DCF), and voucher slots (a “slot” defines the availability of child day care services for one child for one day). The Department of Children and Families provides a variety of supportive care slots. Vouchers are for parents who participate in the Department of Public Welfare’s Employment and Training Program (E.T.). The ability to assist these families, through United Way funding, enables us to serve a broader spectrum of families. All except supportive care parents pay fees according to a sliding fee scale based on income and family size. Income eligibility for DCF basic slots requires that total household income be at or below 70% (approximately $18,000) of the state median income at the time of application. Parents remain eligible until their income exceeds 130% (approximately $30,000) of the state median income.
Family Child Care
Our wonderful staff and the family child care providers represent the cultures and languages of the families we serve.
We have 125 provider homes in Roxbury, Dorchester, Jamaica Plain, Roslindale, Hyde Park, West Roxbury, Milton, East Boston, Chelsea, and Revere.
Providers are all licensed by the state and many are enrolled in the National Accreditation Certification process.
Our services are available to everyone with a sliding fee scale for parents who meet the Office of Child Care Services income guidelines.
Each child’s day is filled with caring, love and attention as well as education and learning. Our goal is to nurture a lifelong love for learning.
We recognize parents as the primary caretakers and educator of their children. We will let you know how your child spends his or her day. You will be invited to take part in a variety of initiatives such as our Parent Advisory Council, parent meetings, and parent support groups.
70 Everett Avenue, Suite 504
Chelsea, MA 02150
Program Director: Iraida Pagan
For enrollment, please ask for Mayra Torres, Enrollment Coordinator.
4640 Washington Street
Roslindale, MA 02131
Program Director: Gisell Salcedo
For enrollment, please ask for Nilda Chajon Navas, Enrollment Coordinator.
42 Charles Street
Dorchester, MA 02122
Program Director: Gisell Salcedo
For enrollment, please ask for Melissa Guzman, Enrollment Coordinator.
- Classroom Volunteer:
Volunteer alongside teachers providing one-on-one attention to children.
- Parent Meeting Volunteer:
Assist with child care during a monthly evening parent/staff meeting.
Read to children each week to help supplement our programs.
- Field Trip Chaperone:
Volunteer to be a chaperone on one of our educational field trips. Help teachers make the most out of the day for the children.
- Holiday Gift Drive:
Conduct a holiday gift drive in your office, community, local library or hold a children’s book drive.
- Administrative Volunteer:
Help answer phones, file, provide computer assistance at one of our program sites, help with mailings or data entry at our central office.
- Committee Member:
Become a member of our special event committee, public relations committee or capital campaign committee.
FIVE frequently asked questions regarding the volunteer program:
- If I want to volunteer with children, what is the minimum commitment time?
The minimum commitment time to volunteer in the classroom is 3 months. As educators and care providers we are sensitive to a child’s healthy development. We need to provide a consistent presence and develop strong and positive relationships with the children we serve.
- What is CORI/DSS background check?
CORI is an acronym for Criminal Offender Record Information and DSS for Department of Social Services;both are background checks that apply to individuals 15 years or older, who work/volunteer with children/elderly. It is a mandatory process set by the Office of Child Care Services. Volunteerism at Associated is contingent upon CORI/DSS results.
- Are all volunteer opportunities on a set schedule?
We are accommodating to the volunteer’s schedule.
- What is the placement timeframe?
The process of application, CORI/DSS request, reference verification, interview (by both the recruiter and the Program Director), orientation, and placement typically spans three weeks.
- What if I don’t want to volunteer with children directly but still would like to help in some way?
There are many other volunteer opportunities at Associated Early Care and Education. We welcome volunteers with translation, training and administrative skills.
By investing in school readiness, promoting healthy development, and strengthening families, Associated Early Care and Education gives students the opportunity to reach their full potential. Explore to learn more about how Associated nurtures a love of learning and creates a brighter future for the children, families, and neighborhoods we serve!
For over 130 years, Associated has provided the highest quality early care and education programs for the communities of Greater Boston. Today, we are serving over 1,500 children in need, from birth to age five, through our programs and services.
Associated is deeply connected to the communities we serve. Our commitment to early care and education reaches beyond our classroom walls to the State House and beyond. Your help is crucial in helping us carry out our mission. Please give generously to help ensure a brighter future for Boston’s working families with children.
Your gift will support our efforts to make a difference at one of the most important development stages in the life of a child. Each and every child entrusted to our care is given a fair chance to lead a healthy and successful life.
Join us in our efforts! Donate today using the form above.
Your support will make a significant impact on their lives, on their families, and on the entire Greater Boston community by:
- Guaranteeing that the children we serve, roughly 600 of whom are living below the poverty threshold, receive three nutritious meals each day, five days a week.
- Making it possible for children and families who have extra social and emotional needs to receive support from our Family Development staff, who provide resource and referral services as well as counseling and therapy.
- Providing a high quality early education curriculum for children who most need it and whose families are hard-pressed to afford the cost of any child-care, let alone a licensed or accredited program, by offering care on a sliding fee scale.
Supporting Associated also means helping us to grow and improve. We serve over 1,000 children, but there are many more who would benefit greatly from our centers and from our family child care homes. Furthermore, while we strive to nurture the whole child, the children in our programs still encounter barriers to success, such as lack of preventative health care, that we aim to reduce by developing more comprehensive programming, including health services in partnership with local clinics.
Prefer to send us a check?
We have tried to make it convenient for you to make your donations with a major credit card; however, if you prefer to send your donation through the mail, you can send it to:Associated Early Care and Education
95 Berkeley Street, Suite 306
Boston, MA 02116
New England Workforce Partners for Early Care and Education NEW Partners (www.muskie.usm.maine.edu/) is an exciting and unique collaboration between Associated Early Care and Education, the Muskie School of Public Service at the University of Southern Maine, the Maine-based ACCESS Coalition, and USA Child Care, funded by the federal Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children, Youth and Families.
NEW Partners brings together early care and education stakeholders from the six New England states to review, create, and implement data collection and public policy models to address the challenge of early care and education workforce recruitment, retention, and quality. Working with teams from each of the six states, NEW Partners seeks to create a model for regional data collection and analysis that better informs policy makers, providers, parents and researchers - ultimately improving the quality of care children received.
Associated Early Care and Education launched the Boston Early Education Quality Improvement Project (Boston EQUIP) in 1994 with a broad goal and mission - to collaborate with members of the Boston early education community to systematically evaluate, set goals for, and improve upon the quality of early childhood programs.
How to Get Involved
Throughout our history, Associated Early Care & Education has relied on the compassion and commitment of countless volunteers, donors and sponsors to fulfill the mission of our organization. Associated asks you to come and share your gifts with society’s most precious asset – our children – during a development stage that will impact their entire lives.
Volunteers contribute over 40,000 work hours each year, the equivalent of adding 24 full-time staff to the agency. They come from all walks of life - professionals, parents, community members, high school and college students - to make a valuable contribution of their time and skills.
Your financial support is crucial in helping us carry out our mission. Click here to learn how you can make a difference in the lives of children by providing the resources for our children to succeed.
Make Caring Your Next Career Move!
Make a positive career move while making a difference in a child’s future! Associated Early Care and Education has been providing high quality child care and education to children & families throughout the city of Boston for over 130 years. Our goal is to ensure that existing staff and all new hires are better prepared to succeed in their job, while ultimately contributing to the success of Associated.
In addition to competitive wages, Associated offers a comprehensive benefits package including the following:
Employee Assistance Program
Child Care Discount
Flexible Spending Accounts
Generous Paid Time Off
For more information on Associated’s Benefits Package please call 617-695-0700, option 2.
The efforts and initiatives of Associated are led by an accomplished team of professionals with a proven track record and a demonstrated commitment to fulfilling our mission.
Ron Ancrum, Executive Director, The Learning Center at Bromley Heath
Carol Campbell, Vice President, Center-Based Programs and Quality Assurance
Chris Head, Vice President, Human Resources
Clement James, Chief Financial Officer & Senior Vice President, Finance and Administration
Tucker Levy, Chief Operating Officer
Ellen Meltzer, Vice President, Development, Marketing, and Public Relations
Wayne Ysaguirre, President & CEO
Board of Directors
Associated is governed by a Board of Directors comprised of corporate executives, lawyers, academics, parents, community leaders and others who have a deep commitment to the early care and education needs of children and their families. They provide invaluable leadership, direction, and support in helping to fulfill Associated’s mission
Lisa Zankman, Chair
Gayle M. Slattery, Vice Chair
Bruce F. Blaisdell, Treasurer
Maria J. Krokidas, Clerk
Jean-Claude Bastien, M.D.
Ann Bookman, Ph.D.
Justice Margot Botsford
Clarence A. Cooper
Daniel Cruz, Jr.
Peter C. Pedro, Jr.
Harriet G. Tolpin, Ph.D.
Looking for Care
Associated Early Care and Education, Inc. (Associated), provides nurturing, child-focused environments which promote children’s development of skills in social, emotional, physical and cognitive areas. Emphasis is placed on establishing each child’s sense of security and self esteem which we believe is vital to the development of confidence, curiosity about learning, independence, and the establishment of meaningful social ties.
Associated believes in a strong partnership between families and caregivers. Families are the most important people in a child’s life and are the main source of security and identity for the young child. Associated strives to have regular communication with parents and to always be responsive to your questions and concerns. As part of our commitment to working families, Associated offers a variety of early education programs.
Curious what a typical day in our care might look like for your child? Visit A Day at Associated for a breakdown of the day—with lots of photos!
All Associated’s Programs:
- Plan a stimulating, interesting curriculum to meet children’s individual needs. We believe that helping children feel good about themselves is one of the most important parts of our program. An equally important part is supporting families as they raise their children, and we view our positive relationships with families as a key to this support. We encourage family involvement in every aspect of Associated Early Care and Education.
- Are licensed by the Department of Early Education and Care (EEC).
- Provide nutritionally balanced meals.
- Our programs have 5-10 classrooms that include infant/toddler and preschool classrooms.
- We follow NAEYC guidelines regarding teacher:child ratios.
- We provide breakfast, lunch, and snack – making up 2/3 of our childrens’ daily nutrition.
- Hours: 7:30am-5:30pm.
Family Child Care:
- Associated recruits, contracts with, trains and supervises the educator/provider.
- The unique aspects of family child care are the small groups of children in each home and the flexible hours of service.
- Our educators provide breakfast/morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack, and dinner, if applicable.
- Hours: Open as early as 6:00am for some providers. Before- and after-school care is available.
Through our contract with EEC, Associated provides income-eligible, teen, homeless, and Department of Children and Families (DCF) for those who qualify*. We accept vouchers.
*Please contact us for eligibility information.
Ready to Enroll?
Go to our Child Enrollment page to begin!
“Associated Early Care and Education gives Greater Boston’s youngest children in need, birth to age 5, the opportunity to reach their full potential by investing in school readiness, promoting healthy development, and strengthening families.”
Associated’s staff is dedicated to:
- providing the best early education experience to children and their families;
- ensuring a safe and nurturing environment for the children in our care;
- honoring our staff and providers by creating opportunities for professional growth and fulfillment;
- making the diversity of our staff, providers, and families a source of strength and learning;
- being leaders in our field, knowing that positive change happens by leading through example;
- being a community leader by maintaining and developing community relationships and strategic alliances that better serve our children and their families; and
- operating with fiscal responsibility and accountability to assure our long-term viability.
When our first program opened in 1878, Associated Early Care & Education became New England’s first child care and early education agency. One hundred and thirty years later, Associated remains committed to providing high quality, affordable child care to Boston’s working families and their children.
1878-The New Day Nursery opens on Hancock St. in Beacon Hill as the first New England day program for children in Boston.
1882-The Ward 16 Nursery, located on Green Street in the South End, opens as a daycare for the children of working mothers. The children participating range in age from 6 months to 6 years old.
1885-The New Day Nursery changes its name to the Sunnyside Day Nursery.
1896- The Ward 16 Day Nursery moves to 82 Carver Street in Boston’s South End and the name is formally changed to South End Day Nursery.
1922-Dr. Abigail Eliot opens the Ruggles Nursery School, the first educational nursery in the United States. Originally, the program started as a nursery in a Ruggles neighborhood house.
1926- Dr. Abigail Eliot and Patty Smith Hill found NANE-the National Association of Nursery Educators-the precursor to the National Association for the Education of Young Children.
1942-Federal Government passes the Lanham Act, providing federal funding for child care across the country as part of the war effort because women were needed in the workforce. Sunnyside, Ruggles, and South End Day Nursery all participate.
1948-Last Lanham Act funding disappears. Boston leaders including Dr. Abigail Eliot and Lucy Miller Mitchell form committee to plan for the future of these programs.
1951-As a result of the committee’s work, the Board of the United Community Services of Metropolitan Boston (forerunner to the United Way) creates Associated Day Care Services of Metropolitan Boston. Associated opens with six charter programs: The South End Day Nursery, The Ruggles St. Nursery, the Sunnyside Day Nursery, the Robert Gould Shaw House, the Trinity Neighborhood House and the Elizabeth Peabody House.
1952-Associated incorporates with eight member programs, five settlement houses (Dorchester House, Robert Gould Shaw House, Oliver James House, Trinity House and the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood House) and three day nurseries (South End Day Nursery, Ruggles St. Nursery and Sunnyside Day Nursery).
1956- The South End Day Nursery moves to the Bromley-Heath Housing project in Jamaica Plain.
1962-Pressed by Lucy Miller Mitchell and the Associated Board, Governor John Volpe signs the first basic Child Care Standards law in Massachusetts, making Massachusetts eligible for federal funds. Associated opens federally funded pilot preschool project in the Columbia Point Housing Development. By 1964, the pilot project becomes Head Start.
1968-Associated accepts the first state contract for child care services in the Commonwealth from the Department of Public Welfare. 1971-Associated Day Care Services opens the Children Community Corner Day Care Center in Chelsea.
1972-Associated opens the Gilday Center for 12 Trauma X (abused and neglected) infants and toddlers placed by the inflicted injury unit of the Department of Public Welfare.
1973-Associated takes over the operations of the Children’s Day Care Center of Cambridge. 1981-The Family Day Care program (FDC) begins contracting with family child care providers to serve four children through funding from the Department of Social Services. The program serves children younger than pre-school age.
1987-Associated expands Family Child Care to serve 80 children and adds services in Jamaica Plain.
1988-The federal Family Support Act (FSA) passes. The bill guarantees child care for twelve months to families leaving the federal Aid To Families with Dependent Children program (AFDC.) The FSA is later amended in 1990 to include low-income ‘at risk’ families not on AFDC.
1989-Associated Day Care Services launches the first court affiliated drop-in day care center in New England, the Roxbury District Court Child Care Center. The program offers day care for children, infants to age twelve, of families involved in court related business. Associated takes over The Central School, Cambridge’s first parent co-op child care program. Children’s Day Care of Cambridge becomes accredited by the National Academy of Early Childhood Programs.
1990-The Child Care and Development Block Grant passes in the U.S Congress. It has broad eligibility, requires no matching funds from states and is administered by the states. The CCDBG includes working and non-working families with incomes falling below 75% of the state’s median income level.
1994-Associated launches a research and policy office and becomes the managing agency for Boston EQUIP, a citywide initiative, funded by AT&T, to evaluate and enhance quality in early childhood education.
1995-Associated establishes Boston’s first accreditation facilitation project to assist programs throughout Eastern Massachusetts with becoming accredited.
1999-Ruggles and Gilday merge into a new 136-child facility in the new Mission Main Housing Development. Associated establishes the first child care Quality Assurance Department in the country.
1999-Associated Research and Policy Department launches Facts In Action-a project designed to develop the capacity of early education advocates and practitioners to use research and data to plan, advocate, and develop for high quality early education programs.
2001-Associated Day Care Services changes its name to Associated Early Care & Education.
2003-All six of Associated’s center-based programs are accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).
2007-The Child Care Project, a Dorchester-based family child care system, merges with Associated Early Care & Education, adding 140 children to the 950 enrolled in Associated’s programs.
20??-Associated Early Care & Education celebrates adoption of universal access to Early Childhood Education for all children in Massachusetts.
Associated Early Care & Education improves the lives of Greater Boston’s youngest children and their families by dedicating its efforts to Education, Technical Assistance and Training, and Advocacy and Research.
Education: We deliver a comprehensive range of services that nurtures over 1,000 children every day, supporting their families and their communities (see Program Overview). These services include six early care and education centers, a family child care program of over 140 educators, mental health and social services to children citywide, and nutritional support and education. Preparing the young students in our care for success in life by investing in school readiness is central to Associated’s mission.
Technical Assistance and Training: In Massachusetts, Associated is a leader in assisting early care and education programs and family child care educators achieve accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and the National Association for Family Child Care (NAFCC). Our quality improvement services help nurture expertise in the community and expand knowledge in the early education field. Associated’s clinical social work staff provides mental health consultation to early education and child care programs throughout the city of Boston. Associated’s professional staff is sought out for their expertise in conducting mental health and child assessments.
Advocacy and Research: Our objective is to promote early care and education through local, state, and national efforts, public awareness, research, and practice. We conduct surveys that profile Boston’s early education community, issue reports on important indicators of current quality in early education, and recommend policies and actions to advance the quality of care and education for our youngest students.
These efforts are coordinated by a Senior Management team with a proven track record and a demonstrated commitment to fulfilling our mission. Associated is governed by a Board of Directors comprised of corporate executives, lawyers, academics, parents, community leaders and others who have a deep commitment to the early care and education needs of children and their families.
Since its inception in 1878, Associated Early Care & Education has continued to evolve and grow in order to best meet the needs of the communities and families we serve. We currently own and operate six early care and education centers and contract with over 130 independent child care providers through our family child care program. Associated cares for over 1,000 children each day.
Our early care and education centers are structured and operated in a way that mirrors traditional center-based care. Each center is managed by a Program Director and Program Assistant. Early education specialists assist teaching staff with implementing a curriculum that addresses the needs of each child. We offer hot nutritious meals daily through our Nutrition program.
Our family child care program is unique in that each home is a licensed, contracted provider. Coordinators provide support and supervision to family child care providers. Each program’s licensed independent clinical social worker (LICSW) provides both prevention and crisis intervention services to families.
“Associated Early Care and Education gives Greater Boston’s youngest children in need, from birth to age five, the opportunity to reach their full potential by investing in school readiness, promoting healthy development, and strengthening families.”
Since its inception in 1878, Associated Early Care & Education has continued to evolve and grow in order to best meet the needs of the communities and families we serve. We currently own and operate six early care and education centers and contract with over 140 independent child care providers through our family child care program. Associated cares for over 1,500 children each day.
Please see the What We Do tab for more in-depth information about our agency and the work we do with early care and education, research and policy, professional development, and more.
Curious what a typical day in our programs might look like for your child? Visit A Day at Associated for a breakdown of the day—with lots of photos!
Who We Serve
The children we serve come primarily from low-income, working families living in Boston’s inner city and the cities of Cambridge, Chelsea, Revere, and Somerville. Three of our six centers are located in public housing developments. Seventy-four percent of the parents are single; 56% of families earn less than $20,640 a year; and 15% of the children have been identified by the Department of Social Services as having been abused and/or neglected.
Because affordable child care is critical to these families, we work hard to keep tuition costs at a minimum. Parents pay a sliding fee based on their income and family size, with donations and additional subsidies from public and private sources providing the necessary funding to make our services possible.