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Federation Early Learning Services (Philadelphia, Pa.) Records

Collection ID

SCRC 87

Related Subject(s)

Collecting Area(s)

Description

Collection Summary 
 
Title
Federation Early Learning Services (Philadelphia, Pa.) Records
 
Dates
1913-2017, bulk 1944-1994
 
Collection ID
SCRC 87
 
Creator
Federation Early Learning Services (Philadelphia, Pa.)
 
Quantity
27.31 linear feet (70 boxes + 8 map folders)
 
Repository
Special Collections Research Center, Temple University Libraries
 
Language
Materials in English
 
 
Detailed Collection Information 
 
Abstract
Federation Early Learning Services (FELS), a non-profit agency providing early childhood education for children ranging in age from infants to school age children, was established in 1973 as Federation Day Care Services (FDCS) from the merger of two independent day care agencies, Samuel Paley Day Care Center and Downtown Children’s Center. A constituent of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, FDCS sought to bring independent child care agencies serving the Jewish population under one umbrella organization “to strengthen family life by providing the supplementary service of day care as a constructive, educational and recreational experience.” The Federation Early Learning Services Records document the organization’s activities as an early childhood education organization and day care facility serving the Jewish community in Philadelphia. The collection contains administrative and financial records, correspondence, case files, agency studies, enrollment statistics, manuals, reports, photographic materials and newspaper clippings from the central administration, its predecessor organizations, and branch day care facilities. 
 
 
Historical Note 
Federation Early Learning Services (FELS), a non-profit agency providing early childhood education for children ranging in age from infants to school age children, was established in 1973 as Federation Day Care Services (FDCS) from the merger of two independent day care agencies. The two merged agencies, Downtown Children’s Center and Samuel Paley Day Care Center, operated as branches of FDCS. A constituent of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, FDCS sought to bring independent child care agencies serving the Jewish population under one umbrella organization “to strengthen family life by providing the supplementary service of day care as a constructive, educational and recreational experience.”  In 1978, Northern Hebrew Day Nursery merged with FDCS and became its third branch. 
 
Downtown Children’s Center, originally founded as the Downtown Hebrew Day Nursery in October 1911 at 2013 South 4th Street in South Philadelphia, provided child care for families of lower income levels whose mothers worked or where illness or psychological issues in the home made such an arrangement necessary. In 1916, the day nursery relocated to 364-66 Snyder Avenue. In 1950, Downtown absorbed the operations of the Day Nursery of the Neighborhood Centre at 4th and Bainbridge Streets. In 1969, in conjunction with the Pennsylvania Hospital’s Community Mental Health-Mental Retardation Center, Downtown Children’s Center opened a day care at 705 Pine Street known as Mid-City House for pre-school children of parents undergoing psychiatric care. Mid-City relocated to the Settlement Music School at 416 Queen St in 1971, but remained a project of the Downtown Children’s Center after the creation of FDCS in 1973.
 
Northern Hebrew Day Nursery was founded in 1921 by a group of fourteen women to “maintain a home for temporary care of children of working women and widowers, during their hours of employment.” The day nursery was originally located at 717 North 6th Street in North Philadelphia and provided services free of charge. The program included religious instruction and observance of holidays and customs in the Jewish tradition. In 1955, the day nursery relocated its operation to 10th and Ruscomb Streets in the Logan neighborhood. The Northern Hebrew Day Nursery joined FDCS in 1978 and subsequently sold its Ruscomb St. building to Dorothea’s Nursery School and Kindergarten. A new building, the Lassin Center, opened in 1979 at Jamison Avenue and Garth Road in the Bustleton section of Northeast Philadelphia.  
 
Samuel Paley Day Care Center, originally organized in 1923 as the Hebrew Day Nursery of Strawberry Mansion, began as an informal nursery for children of working mothers funded exclusively by donations.  The day nursery became a constituent of the Federation of Jewish Charities in 1928, receiving financial support for its operation. In 1938, the nursery moved from its initial location in a two-story row house on 31st Street near Cumberland Avenue to 2029-31 North 33rd Street, adjacent to Fairmount Park. In 1956, the name of the agency was changed to Strawberry Mansion Day Care House and subsequently Strawberry Mansion Day Nursery.  Due to significant shifts of the Jewish population out of the Strawberry Mansion neighborhood and into Northeast Philadelphia in the 1950s, the program at the Strawberry Mansion Day Nursery ceased operations on June 30, 1961, but a temporary program was relocated to the Bustleton Avenue or Northeast Branch of the Neighborhood Centre. This program was named the Northeast Day Care Service and operated until the Samuel Paley Day Care Center was opened in 1966 at Strahle and Horrock Streets in the Rhawnhurst neighborhood. The new center, designed by architect Beryl Price through a gift from the Samuel Paley Foundation, was constructed specifically for day care activities and programming. Norman Finkel, Executive Director of the Samuel Paley Day Care Center from 1964 until 1973 and later Executive Director of Federation Day Care Services, was involved with a project to create a day care center in the East Frankford neighborhood at Rehoboth United Methodist Church at 4227 Paul St. Organized by Selma Honesty and other community members, the East Frankford Day Care Center was designed to cater to the predominately black community of East Frankford.  Finkel drafted the proposal for the center and acted as a consultant to the organization’s board for the first year of operation.
 
After the merger of Philadelphia’s largest Jewish day care agencies, Federation Day Care Services expanded its programming by opening new branches within the city and the outlying suburban counties including Northeast Family Day Care in 1978, Friends’ Rhawn Street Center in 1980, Adath Jeshurun and Western in 1982, Adath Tikvah in 1983, Center City Day Care in 1984, Terri Lynne Lokoff Chid Care Center and the Melrose Pare Day Care Center in 1985 later renamed the Mary Bert Gutman Early Learning Center, and the Juniper Street Day Care and the Kehillah Early Learning Center in 1987. In 2003, FDCS changed its name to Federation Early Learning Services.
 
Chronology of day care agencies:
1911-1973 Downtown Children’s Center (FDCS branch as of 1973)
1921-1978 Northern Hebrew Day Nursery
1923-1961 Strawberry Mansion Day Nursery
1961-1965 Northeast Day Care Service
1966-1973 Samuel Paley Day Care Center (FDCS branch as of 1973)
1973-         Federation Day Care Services (FDCS)/Early Learning Services (FELS)
 
 
Description of Collection 
The Federation Early Learning Services Records document the organization’s activities as an early childhood education organization and day care facility serving the Jewish community in Philadelphia. The collection contains administrative and financial records, correspondence, case files, agency studies, enrollment statistics, manuals, reports, photographic materials and newspaper clippings from the central administration, its predecessor organizations, and branch day care facilities. The collection not only provides details about planning and establishing day nursery programs in Philadelphia, but also characteristics about the population served by such programs and the implementation of casework by social work professionals within the day nurseries. FELS’ relationships with allied local and regional child care organizations is also well documented within the collection and provides a broad view of collaborative initiatives among organizations concerned with the health and welfare of children. This collection includes preserved versions of the organization’s website, available through Archive-It.
 
 
Organization and Arrangement 
The collection is arranged into five series as follows:
 
Series 1: Downtown Children’s Center, 1913-1985, bulk 1944-1985
          Subseries 1.1: Administrative records, 1913-1984
          Subseries 1.2: Financial records, 1945-1962
          Subseries 1.3: Programming, 1946-1985 (Portions Restricted) 
Series 2: Northern Hebrew Day Nursery, 1923-1983
          Subseries 2.1: Administrative records, 1923-1983
          Subseries 2.2: Financial records, 1949-1977
          Subseries 2.3: Programming, 1927-1979 (Portions Restricted)
Series 3: Samuel Paley Day Care Center, 1929-1974, bulk 1945-1974
          Subseries 3.1: Administrative records, 1936-1974 (Portions Restricted)
          Subseries 3.2: Financial records, 1930-1973
          Subseries 3.3: Programming, 1929-1973 (Portions Restricted)
          Subseries 3.4: Affiliate organizations, 1942-1974
Series 4: Federation Day Care Services, 1973-2002
          Subseries 4.1: Administrative records, 1973-1997 (Portions Restricted)  
          Subseries 4.2: Programming, 1974-2002 (Portions Restricted)
          Subseries 4.3: Affiliate organizations, 1973-1994
Series 5: Website versions in Archive-It, 2014-2017
 
 
Series 1: Downtown Children’s Center, 1913-1985, bulk 1944-1985, documents the activities of this South Philadelphia based day nursery. This records series is divided into three subseries. Subseries 1.1: Administrative records, 1913-1984, is arranged alphabetically by type of material and contains the original charter, an incomplete run of Board of Directors meeting minutes from 1944 to 1973, and the Branch Director’s correspondence for the years immediately following the merger with Samuel Paley Day Care Center. Subseries 1.2: Financial records, 1945-1962, contains a 1945 audit report, general journals for the years 1959 to 1962, and cash receipts and disbursements for 1951 to 1956. Subseries 1.3: Programming, 1946-1985, is arranged alphabetically by type of material or title and contains agency studies, population statistics, case file summaries, and a scrapbook of newspaper clippings. The bulk of this subseries is comprised of photographs and slides of activities and events at Downtown Children’s Center from the 1950s through the mid-1980s, after Downtown became a branch of FDCS. Access to case file summaries in this series is restricted for 75 years from date of creation due to the presence of personally identifying information, child evaluations and behavioral assessments by social workers. Restrictions where applicable are indicated at the file level.
 
Series 2: Northern Hebrew Day Nursery, 1923-1983, documents the activities of this North Philadelphia based day nursery that merged with Federation Day Care Services in 1978. This records series is divided into three subseries. Subseries 2.1: Administrative records, 1923-1983, contains the organization’s articles of incorporation and bylaws, extensive administrative correspondence for the years preceding the merger with Federation Day Care Services, and limited board and committee meeting minutes.  Folders marked “President’s correspondence, meeting minutes, and notes” in this series were created by Robert A. Clair in the late 1970s. Subseries 2.2: Financial records, 1949-1977, is arranged alphabetically by type of material and contains audit reports from the 1970s and general ledgers for the years 1949 to 1968. Subseries 2.3: Programming, 1927-1979, is arranged alphabetically by type of material or title and contains case files, photographs, roll books, day care service statistical reports, and newspaper clippings. The case files, produced between 1927 and 1975, vary in breadth and depth of information and may include an admission application, biographical information, and medical evaluations. Access to case files in this series is restricted for 75 years from date of creation due to the presence of personally identifying information, child evaluations and behavioral assessments by social workers. Restrictions where applicable are indicated at the file level.
 
Series 3: Samuel Paley Day Care Center, 1929-1974, bulk 1945-1974, documents the activities of this Northeast Philadelphia based day care facility formerly located in the Strawberry Mansion neighborhood. This series is divided into four subseries. Subseries 3.1: Administrative records, 1936-1974, is arranged alphabetically by type of material and contains annual reports, Board of Directors and committee meeting minutes and reports, administrative correspondence, architectural drawings for new construction and building renovations, and administrative manuals. Subseries 3.2: Financial records, 1930-1973, is arranged alphabetically by type of material and includes audit reports, budget plans and budget correspondence for the 1960s and 1970s, general ledgers from the 1950s, and monthly financial reports submitted to the Federation of Jewish Agencies. Subseries 3.3: Programming, 1929-1973, is arranged alphabetically by type of material or title and contains caseworker reports, roll books, intake statistics, and agency studies. Subseries 3.4: Affiliate organizations, 1942-1974, is arranged alphabetically by organization name and contains proposals, reports, meeting minutes, and correspondence with local and regional childcare organizations that Samuel Paley Day Care Center was affiliated, a consortium member, collaborated with on projects, or assisted in program development and industry service standards in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. Access to case summaries and application lists in this series is restricted for 75 years from date of creation due to the presence of personally identifying information and child evaluations and behavioral assessments by social workers. Access to the Personnel Practices Committee meeting minutes and correspondence in this series is contingent on review by SCRC staff and may be restricted for 75 years from date of creation due to personally identifying information and medical information about minors and staff within these files. Restrictions where applicable are indicated at the file level.
 
Series 4: Federation Day Care Services, 1973-2002, documents the activities of central administration of this early child education organization with facilities located in Philadelphia and the outlying suburban counties. This series is divided into three subseries. Subseries 4.1: Administrative records, 1973-1997, is arranged alphabetically by type of material and contains Board of Directors and committee meeting minutes and reports, administrative correspondence, and organization policies. A portion of the administrative records including Board of Directors and committee meeting minutes appear to be copies from the office of the Executive Director and as such contain annotations by the Executive Director and/or his secretary. These records were interfiled with existing committee and board files to create a more complete filing system of administrative records, accommodate ease of research, and eliminate duplication. The Executive Director’s correspondence files contain incoming and outgoing letters and memoranda primarily between  staff, board members, and consultants working with the organization. These correspondence files are arranged alphabetically by last name of correspondent or in the “general file” chronologically by date. This subseries also contains scattered financial records including audit reports and a 990 tax form from 1975. Subseries 4.2: Programming, 1974-2002, is arranged alphabetically by type of material or name of branch, program, or department. This subseries contains extensive enrollment and Title XX statistics, branch files containing information on services offered at specific FDCS day care facilities, as well as program outlines, procedures, manuals, and evaluation forms for the Child Safety Program, Early Intervention Department, and Social Work Department. Subseries 4.3: Affiliate organizations, 1973-1994, is arranged alphabetically by name of organization and contains proposals, reports, meeting minutes, and correspondence with local and regional childcare organizations that Federation Day Care Services was affiliated, a consortium member, collaborated with on projects, or assisted in program development and industry service standards in the 1970s through the 1990s. Access to the Executive Director’s correspondence files, Board of Directors correspondence, and Personnel Practices Committee meeting minutes and correspondence in this series is contingent on review by SCRC staff and may be restricted for 75 years from date of creation due to personally identifying information and medical information about minors and staff within these files. Access to enrollment rosters, intake and admission summaries, and case reports in this series is restricted for 75 years from date of creation due to the presence of personally identifying information, child evaluations and behavioral assessments by social workers. Restrictions where applicable are indicated at the file level.
 
Series 5: Website versions in Archive-It, 2014-2017, contains preserved versions of the Federation Early Learning Services’ website. To access these sites, see the Temple University Special Collections Jewish Archives, Archive-It web page: https://www.archive-it.org/collections/4280  
 
Patron Information 
 
Catalog Record 
A record for this collection is available in Temple University’s online library catalog: https://temple-primo.hosted.exlibrisgroup.com/primo-explore/fulldisplay?...
 
Research Access 
Collection is open for research. 
 
Access to case files and reports, case summaries and application lists, enrollment rosters, and intake and admission summaries found in Series 1, 2, 3, and 4 is restricted for 75 years from date of creation due to the presence of personally identifying information, child evaluations and behavioral assessments by social workers.
 
Access to Personnel Practices Committee meeting minutes and correspondence in Series 2 and Series 4, and access to the Executive Director’s correspondence files and Board of Directors correspondence in Series 4 is contingent on review by SCRC staff. Access to any materials containing personally identifying information and medical information about minors and staff within these files is restricted for 75 years from date of creation.
 
Collections Stored Off-Site
This collection may be housed off-site at the Library Depository, and require up to two business days to retrieve. Please review the finding aid and be prepared to identify specific materials to be retrieved. Contact the Special Collections Research Center in advance of your visit, so that materials may be relocated to the reading room for research. 
 
Accruals
Additions to this collection are expected. Websites are captured using Archive-It periodically, and the latest additions may not yet be included in this finding aid. For information on material–physical and digital, including captured websites–that may have been added since the last finding aid update, please contact the Special Collections Research Center.
 
Publication and Copyright Information
The Federation Early Learning Services Records is the physical property of the Special Collections Research Center, Temple University Libraries. Intellectual property rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. Researchers are responsible for determining the identity of rights holders and obtaining their permission for publication and for other purposes where stated.
 
Preferred Citation
[Description and date of item], [Box/folder number], Federation Early Learning Services (Philadelphia, Pa.) Records, SCRC 87, Special Collections Research Center, Temple University Libraries, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 
 
Related Material
Jane D. Kent-St. Nicholas Day Care Center Records, Acc. 617, Special Collections Research Center, Temple University Libraries, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 
 
Jewish Ys and Centers of Greater Philadelphia, Neighborhood Centre Branch Records, SCRC 22, Special Collections Research Center, Temple University Libraries, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  
 
Philadelphia Association of Day Nurseries Records, URB 5, Special Collections Research Center, Temple University Libraries, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
 
 
Administrative Information 
 
Acquisition Information
Donated by Federation Early Learning Services between 1982 and 2005. Collection previously administered by the Philadelphia Jewish Archives Center, acquired by Temple in June 2009.
 
Processing Information 
Records of the Northern Hebrew Day Nursery in Series 2 previously processed in 1983 by William McCaulley. Full collection processed, integrating records from the Northern Hebrew Day Nursery, and finding aid prepared in July 2015 by Jessica M. Lydon, Associate Archivist. 
 
 
Index Terms
The following headings have been used to index the description of this collection in Temple University’s electronic catalog:
 
Corporate Names: 
Federation Day Care Services (Philadelphia, Pa.)
Federation Early Learning Services (Philadelphia, Pa.) 
Downtown Children’s Center (Philadelphia, Pa.)
Downtown Hebrew Day Nursery (Philadelphia, Pa.)
Northeast Day Care Service (Philadelphia, Pa.)
Northern Hebrew Day Nursery (Philadelphia, Pa.) 
Samuel Paley Day Care Center (Philadelphia, Pa.)
Strawberry Mansion Day Care House (Philadelphia, Pa.)
Strawberry Mansion Day Nursery (Philadelphia, Pa.)
 
Subjects: 
Child welfare -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia
Day care centers -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia
Jewish children -- Pennsylvania – Philadelphia
Nursery schools -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia
 
Places: 
Philadelphia (Pa.)
 
Material Types: 
Administrative records          
Architectural drawings
Articles of incorporation          
Bylaws (administrative records)          
Case files           
Charters           
Clippings
Correspondence          
Financial records           
Histories           
Ledgers (account books).           
Membership lists           
Minutes         
Negatives
Newsletters     
Objects
Pamphlets                      
Photographs          
Posters        
Press releases                 
Reports         
Scrapbooks           
Souvenir programs        
Speeches          
Web sites        
Wood blocks (printing blocks)          
 
 
Finding Aid Links
Collection Summary