5.14 2024

Plans move forward for former New Haven theater to become child care center

WTNH — The former Cine-4 movie theater in New Haven is being transformed into a new child care center. On Tuesday, Friends Center for Children held a groundbreaking ceremony at the Flint Street site to mark the next phase in the project.

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3.25 2024

Help wanted: Child care workers. Free housing provided.

THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR — There’s a new type of community being built in New Haven, just a 10-minute drive from Yale University. From the ruins of an old rock quarry, a village of multifamily houses is sprouting on 2 acres of land.

An open, shared courtyard will tie together the families, most of whom have young children. However, what sets this community apart is whom these homes are for. The budding village is only for child care workers. Friends Center for Children is building rent-free workforce housing as a salaried benefit for employees.

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2.29 2024

Free housing for educators being offered to help curb high rent prices

CBS MORNINGS — To address the dual issues of low teacher pay and affordable housing, a pioneering program in New Haven, Connecticut, is offering early childhood educators free housing as a solution.

This groundbreaking initiative came from the Friends Center for Children, where teachers like Kristen Calderon, struggling with the financial burdens of low salaries and high living costs, are now finding relief and stability.

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4.30 2024

Friends Center Teacher Housing Initiative

Despite the importance of early childhood education (ECE), programs are underfunded and educators underpaid. In searching for a solution for ECE teachers to earn more realistic compensation, Friends Center for Children developed a unique, collaborative approach to meet one of the highest expenses teachers face – housing costs.

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12.15 2023

Blake Street Preschool Classroom Tour

Join Site Director Jessica Legere on a tour of a Friends Center preschool classroom at our Blake Street location.

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12.23 2023

East Grand Preschool Classroom Tour

Join Site Director Melanie Billings on a special tour of a preschool classroom at our East Grand location.

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12.15 2023

Blake Street Infant/Toddler Classroom Tour

Join Site Director Jessica Legere on a tour of a Friends Center Infant/Toddler classroom at our Blake Street location.

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12.15 2023

East Grand Infant/Toddler Classroom Tour

Join Site Director Melanie Billings on a tour of Friends Center’s Infant/Toddler classrooms at East Grand Avenue.

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11.6 2023

The Friends Center for Children expands free housing facilities for low-wage educators

YALE DAILY NEWS — Members of the Teacher Housing Initiative, a program that is run through the Friends Center for Children, have expanded their free housing facilities for early childhood educators and are prepared to welcome two single mothers into their newest housing complex.

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11.6 2023

Furnishing Day Readies Rent-Free Homes For Early Ed Teachers

NEW HAVEN INDEPENDENT — “No light bulb,” a volunteer called out on a recent afternoon at a two-story, one-family home in Fair Haven Heights. The lamp that needed a bulb was among the community donations at the first-ever Furnishing Day, which saw a revolving group of 60 friends, neighbors, and board members assembling furniture, hanging pictures, and stocking the pantry in the newly-built structure.

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11.2 2023

Childcare advocates are housing teachers for free in New Haven

NBC CONNECTICUT — Friends Center for Children is providing some financial relief for childcare workers and building homes for early childhood educators to live in for free.

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11.1 2023

2 New Haven teachers to live in rent-free homes

WTNH — Community volunteers worked to transform a home for two early childhood educators on Wednesday, with the help of the Friends Center for Children of New Haven. These newly built, furnished and decorated homes are all part of the Friends Center for Children Teacher Housing Initiative. The two future residents currently work at the center and will get to live in the homes rent-free. “Today is furnishing day, which is when the community comes together to donate all this amazing furniture and create a home for them,” said Allyx Schiavone, the executive director of Friends Center for Children.

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11.1 2023

New Haven’s Friends Center for Children moves teachers into free housing, increasing take-home pay

NEW HAVEN REGISTER — Kristen Calderon, a single mom, has worked as a teacher at the Friends Center for Children’s early childhood education center for nearly six years, but before that she had to live in a homeless shelter at one point. It’s tough to survive and raise a kid on a teacher’s salary — and getting tougher.

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10.30 23

Who Do You Count On?

From the moment we’re born, we depend on others in order to survive and thrive. In our earliest years, we learn through connections and relationships, and the caregivers who nurture us are critical to building strong foundations for our emotional, social and intellectual development. This dependence changes shape as we grow, but the essential nature of our reliance on others remains. Each day, in a myriad of different ways, we turn to others. We trust in others. We lean on others. We bank on others. We believe in others. We count on others.

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10.26 2023

Addressing Connecticut’s child care crisis: How did we get here and where is the state headed?

FOX 61 — Pandemic-era funding that temporarily propped up the child care industry has officially been spent. Reports have claimed there’s a child care crisis in the United States. Connecticut early childhood advocates say they’ve been sounding the alarm for years. When the Breaux family moved to Connecticut from Georgia, one of the first orders of business was securing childcare for their 2-year-old daughter.

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10.6 2023

“How do we raise teachers’ salaries without raising tuition?”

Friends Center for Children’s Teacher Housing Initiative is no longer our best kept secret. Recently it has received widespread media attention, which is essential if early childhood educators across Connecticut and in every corner of the United States will ever be paid fairly for their priceless contributions shaping our youngest.

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9.29 2023

One Way to Help Teacher Salaries Go Further: Free Housing

THE NEW YORK TIMES — Kristen Calderon was making about $37,000 a year as an early childhood educator in New Haven, Conn. It was more than the state’s average salary for the job but given the high cost of housing, it was barely enough.
“Every month, I had to decide on a rotating basis which bill I wasn’t going to pay,” she said.
But recently, all that changed.

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9.27 2023

Miriam Johnson Sutton: Connecticut can’t afford to let our child care system fail

HARTFORD COURANT — Brinksmanship in Washington, D.C. and in state capitols around the country, including here in Hartford, has brought our state’s early childhood care and education sector to the brink of calamity. If Congress doesn’t act by Sept. 30, $24 billion in federal funds that barely kept the child care sector afloat during the pandemic will expire, blowing a massive hole in the budgets of state departments of education, child care providers and inevitably, parents facing tuition hikes or losing their children’s spots.

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9.26 2023

End of pandemic-era funding could force child care programs to close, affecting 37,000 CT kids

CT INSIDER — Billions of federal dollars were poured into the child care industry to keep it afloat during the chaos of the pandemic, but now that the emergency funding has dried up, it’s created a “fiscal cliff” for day care, experts and child care professionals warn.

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9.8 2023

School builds homes where teachers live rent-free

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (CBS/CBS Newspath/WKRC) – Schools nationwide are dealing with a teacher shortage, and low wages are a big part of the problem. But one school in Connecticut is trying to something new by building homes where teachers live rent-free.

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8.22 2023

Sen. Chris Murphy praises New Haven initiative to provide housing to teachers

WTNH — Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) touted a New Haven project as innovative on Tuesday, stating that housing initiatives for teachers will help attract and recruit educators. “If we can specifically discount cost of housing for teachers and child care workers, it helps everybody because it helps those workers, but it also helps keep the cost of child care down by making it so the salary goes a little bit further for people working in child care,” he said during a tour of the Friends Center for Children New Haven Housing Initative.

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8.22 2023

Sen. Murphy raises alarms on rising housing costs and lack of educators

FOX 61 — NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Tuesday morning, U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy, (D-CT) toured a new project aiming to provide free housing for teachers in New Haven. He believes the state has two crises–the rising costs of housing and a lack of educators. “If we can specifically discount the cost of housing for teachers and for childcare workers, it helps everybody,” Murphy said. That’s exactly what the Friends Center for Children in New Haven is hoping to do with their new Teacher Housing Initiative.

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8.21 2023

Free Teacher Housing Rises in The Heights

NEW HAVEN INDEPENDENT — Early childcare provider Paris Pierce arrives to work on time and with a clear headspace — because her employer ensures the single mom has a safe home with two bathrooms, storage space, and a washing machine to care for herself and her three kids at no cost.

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8.15 2023

New Haven Childcare Center Tackles Low Teacher Pay Issue with Free Housing

Off Plan Property Exchange — An early childcare center in New Haven is addressing the nationwide issue of low teacher pay by providing free housing. The groundbreaking program implemented by the Friends Center for Children aims to serve as a model for other centers around the country.

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8.15 2023

Nonprofit daycare builds housing for teachers in New Haven to fight high housing costs

CT INSIDER — Tucked into a leafy corner at the Friends Center for Children in New Haven, a Quaker-founded daycare and preschool is building a “village” of homes for their teachers. The nonprofit hopes to provide homes for 30 percent of their teachers by 2027.
“In Connecticut we are 35th with regard to wages for early education teachers relative to cost of living,” said Allyx Schiavone executive director of Friends Center for Children. “We are paying women poverty level wages in this state and we really feel we need to do better.”

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8.7 2023

As COVID relief funds wane, Connecticut must invest in fixing child care

CT MIRROR — Beginning this fall, child care providers, early childhood educators, and families across the state will no longer be able to count on the federal COVID-19 relief funds that helped to carry our flailing child care system through the pandemic and subsequent period of ongoing economic recovery.

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8.14 2023

Friends Center for Children to Open Additional Free Teacher Housing as Solution to Increase Educator Compensation Without Burdening Students’ Families with Unaffordable Tuition

As Friends Center for Children prepares for the new school year, two of the school’s teachers are getting ready to move – but they will be living rent-free – in […]

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8.2 2023

For this CT business, ‘workforce housing’ is actually working

THE CONNECTICUT MIRROR features Friends Center’s Teacher Housing Initiative as a solution to alleviate the high costs associated with Connecticut’s housing shortage and child care provider operations.

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7.22 2023

A Transformational Investment

@THECHILDCAREBUSINESSCOACH — In a new podcast episode from @thechildcarebusinesscoach, our Executive Director Allyx Schiavone explains why it’s time to make transformational investments in #childcare to secure better resources for our children, parents, and educators, and economy.

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6.22 2023

A Champion for Children

FOOTE SCHOOL ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT — “Allyx Schiavone ’85 doesn’t take “no” for an answer — not if she knows there is a better answer. She has made it her mission — and profession — to take up the causes that are closest to her heart, and she’s made it clear that she will not back down from a challenge.”

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5.17 2023

New Haven early child care group details plan to transform Cine-4 site to school

NEW HAVEN REGISTER — Friends Center for Children Inc. plans to turn the former Cine-4 site on Flint Street into an early child care center that would serve about 80 young children, as part of a larger plan to provide affordable services for families and teachers.

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5.31 2023

Former Cine4 Movie Theater Turning Into Daycare

NBC CONNECTICUT — Friends Center for Children is reconstructing the former Cine4 movie theater into an early childhood daycare center.

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Gowrie Group

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Houlihan Lawrence

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Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine Centers

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Sign Lite

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Controlled Air, INC

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Elite Property Services, Inc

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Seabury Hill Realtors

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Branford Dental Care

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How to Meet the President…

On February 7, 2023, Friends Center Executive Director Allyx Schiavone had the opportunity to meet the President and speak on behalf of early childhood education, alongside U.S. Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro at a press conference led by U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

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2.9 2023

Child care crisis: What costly daycare and fewer workers mean for US economy and taxpayers

“The nation’s economy rests on the shoulders of early care and education teachers, and the system that they’re in is on the brink of collapse,” said Allyx Schiavone, a prominent early childhood education advocate from Connecticut.
“When parents can’t find child care, they can’t work. It’s really simple,” continued Schiavone. “And when they can’t work, families and businesses suffer. Building a better child care system is the best opportunity to unlock the power of our nation’s economy.”

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What Shapes Us?

When we think about the essential question, “What Shapes Us?,” some of the most powerful influences come from the systems around us. Unfortunately, when it comes to early childhood education, New Haven’s system is broken. Families pay too much, educators make too little, providers can barely survive and children are caught in the resulting dysfunction.

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Early Ed Advocates Call For State $ Bump

NEW HAVEN INDEPENDENT — A Connecticut-wide coalition of child care providers and advocates has stepped up its call for state government to increase funding for an industry in ​“crisis” because the demand from families far exceeds the supply of educators.

That was the key takeaway from a Zoom-assisted online press conference hosted Tuesday morning by the group Child Care for Connecticut’s Future.

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Property Sales Roundup: Early Ed Center Expands

NEW HAVEN INDEPENDENT — A Fair Haven Heights-based early childhood education nonprofit continued its citywide expansion by purchasing two adjacent commercial buildings in Westville Village for $1.995 million.

That was one of the latest local property transactions, as recorded on New Haven’s online land records database.

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Cine-4 Closes, Becoming Early Ed Campus

NEW HAVEN INDEPENDENT — The lights are off and the popcorn’s all gone from a decades-old independent movie theater on Middletown Avenue — which new nonprofit owners aim to convert to a bustling campus for affordable early childhood education.

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“Let’s Talk” series welcomes Senator Chris Murphy as December’s featured speaker

On December 16,  Friends Center continued its Let’s Talk series, welcoming Senator Chris Murphy for an online conversation about the perils and progress of the Early Care and Education industry. […]

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Friends Center director featured as Bank Street distinguished alumna

“Our program at Friends Center is child-centered, hands-on, play-based, and family-focused,” Allyx said. “All of this came from Bank Street, and none of that has changed over the course of time. What has changed is the world around us.”

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When does it matter?

We believe every child, family and educator, regardless of their background, has innate potential to thrive and is entitled to an educational community that supports their flourishing.

When does it matter? Right now.

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“Let’s Talk” series welcomes Connecticut OEC Commissioner Beth Bye as November’s featured speaker

On November 3, Friends Center welcomed 139 guests to our second Let’s Talk conversation with Connecticut’s Commissioner for the Office of Early Childhood, Beth Bye Please click on the link below […]

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10.19 2021

Virtual Admissions Open House

preschool and infant/toddler spots available for 2022 – 2023

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9.25 2021

“Let’s Talk” series welcomes Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro as inaugural speaker

On September 15, Friends Center welcomed Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro as the inaugural speaker of our 2021-2022 Let’s Talk! virtual series of discussions about the federal, state and city advocacy and planning around […]

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2.19 2021

Not (just) a Season of Lovingkindness

Inside our February 2021 e-newsletter: Read about Friends Center’s year-round commitment to lovingkindness and the launch of our new Teacher Housing Plan, providing Free housing for teachers to increase compensation.

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1.21 2021

Friends Center for Children Launches Free Teacher Housing Initiative

Long before the pandemic struck, Friends Center for Children had been wrestling with the issue of inadequate compensation for infant and preschool teachers. One potential solution, a Friends Center Teacher Housing Initiative, captured the attention of two long-time FCfC supporters…

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1.11 2021

What is essential?

Inside our January 2021 e-newsletter:
– Examining “What is essential?”
– Advocacy Efforts Secure Continued OEC Funding
– Friends Council on Education Centering Reflection

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11.11 2020

Where do you stand?

This past year, events in our nation forced us all to examine our stance in new and challenging ways. During these trying times, Friends Center is committed to standing fast to our mission: educate children, empower families, inspire teachers, engage community, embrace diversity.

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6.12 2020

…what actions will speak louder than words?

Dear members of our Friends Center Community, How do we give a name to this moment that grips our awareness, causes deep pain and stifles our breath? Recent appalling, grievous […]

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6.26 2020

Week 15: staying connected during social distancing

Dear Families, “Out of clutter, Find simplicity. From discord, Find harmony. In the middle of difficulty, Lies opportunity” Albert Einstein In the attached pdf, please find resources, links, and reflections […]

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6.19 2020

Week 14: staying connected during social distancing

Dear Families, “Peace is not the product of terror or fear. Peace is not the silence of cemeteries.Peace is not the silent result of violent repression. Peace is the generous, tranquil contribution […]

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6.12 2020

Week 13: staying connected during social distancing

Dear Families, We hope that this letter finds you healthy, safe and strong.  We hope that you feel empowered, seen and heard. We hope that when you leave your front […]

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6.5 2020

Week 12: staying connected during social distancing

Dear Families, “Sometimes our hearts feel heavy and the world feels wrong.  Find the light, even if it is ever so slight.  Hold on, let hope build a trail for […]

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5.29 2020

Week 11: staying connected during social distance

Dear families, Thank you for being our friends, and continuing to learn and grow with us. We have had so much fun launching and sharing our brand new, pilot I/T […]

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5.22 2020

Week 10: staying connected during social distance

Dear community, “When I say it’s YOU I like, I’m talking about the part of you that knows that life is far more than anything you can ever see or […]

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5.15 2020

Week nine: staying connected during social distance

Dear community, We invite you to enjoy the 9th edition of our weekly blog/letter (nine weeks…wow!). In this blog you will find some fun podcasts and videos that are geared […]

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5.8 2020

Week eight: staying connected during social distance

Dear Community, We hope that this post finds you healthy, safe and well. We realize the incredible strain that social distancing is putting each of us, individually and collectively. Whether […]

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5.1 2020

Week seven: staying connected during social distance

Dear Community, We are coming to the end of our seventh week in collective “quarantine”, and find that we are needing one another more than ever. As the ties that […]

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4.24 2020

Week six: staying connected during social distance

Dear community, We hope that you continue to be healthy, safe and well. As we continue to experience distance, from one another, our routines, our communities, we hope that, more […]

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4.17 2020

Week five: staying connected during social distance

In our week five blog, please find information and links for resources including: free science experiments, Clifford Beers Clinic COVID Compassion Line, mindfulness activity cards, and information on cultivating the Quaker value of COMMUNITY.

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4.10 2020

Week four: staying connected during social distance

In our week four blog, please find pdfs with activities for children and adults (including Week of the Young Child Daily Themes), awareness resources, mindfulness moments (such as “going on a mindfulness safari”), and information on emotional wellbeing, specifically on cultivating the Quaker value of EQUALITY.

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4.3 2020

Week three: staying connected during social distance

In our week three blog, please find activities for children and adults  awareness resources (including Five Steps to Mindfulness), and information on emotional wellbeing, specifically on cultivating the Quaker value of INTEGRITY.

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3.27 2020

Staying connected during social distance: week two

In this blog, please find activities for children and adults (including Make Your Own Mood Meter Sock Puppet), awareness resources, and information on emotional wellbeing, specifically on cultivating the Quaker value of PEACE.

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3.19 2020

Staying connected during social distance: week one

As we navigate these unprecedented and unusual set of circumstances, the FCfC Administrative Team would like to remind you that we continue to walk through the world together, as a community.

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1.10 2020

Happy New Year!

Inside our January 2020 e-newsletter:
– Art exhibit featuring Rhoda Kellogg’s collection of children’s artwork makes ARTNEWS’ top ten.
– Uncrumple that Drawing

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10.24 2019

Friends Center opens new site in West Rock neighborhood

Friends Center Blake Street serves 36 children and their families in a location near West Rock Park, with nine staff…

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10.1 2019

Why do we connect?

Explore the importance of connections in early childhood education in Friends Centers’ 2018-2019 Community Report.

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9.15 2019

Joining forces to make New Haven a model for quality and access in ECE

Friends Center helps launch NH ChILD movement to make Ideal Learning accessible to all children in New Haven.

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9.1 2019

No “please.”

Friends Center social work intern explores new phrases to gain cooperation.

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5.24 2019

How to End the Child-Care Crisis

Shael Polakow-Suransky explains how a child’s first 1,000 days are a time to be seized in a New York Time’s op-ed story

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5.6 2019

Pinwheels Along The Path

Photos and stories from the 9th annual Fair Haven Family Stroll and Festival

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4.22 2019

Friends Center featured on News 8 for NH ChILD

“It was almost impossible to find anything. We were on six waiting lists at six different daycares and preschools,” says Renuka Gandhi…

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3.22 2019

“Experts: More Play Needed in New Haven Schools”

Friends Center Executive Director Allyx Schiavone shares the merits of play-based learning in a New Haven Register article.

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10.1 2018

What helps us grow?

Read about how we’re growing in Friends Center’s 2017 – 2018 Report to the Community

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5.10 2018

From Piling Scrap to Bridging the Achievement Gap

Photos and story from the 8th annual Fair Haven Family Stroll and Festival

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3.18 2018

Friends Center hosts meet and greet for Connecticut’s new Commissioner of Early Childhood Beth Bye

On March 15, Friends Center for Children hosted a welcome breakfast for Commissioner Beth Bye and announced the official launch of NH ChILD….

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3.30 2017

How Can We Support Staff in Addressing Implicit Bias?

How Can We Support Staff in Addressing Implicit Bias? One Program’s Approach Allyx Schiavone, Executive Director of the Friends Center for Children in New Haven, CT, discusses a three-year approach […]

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How do you see the world?

Learn more about the lenses with which we see the world in Friends Center’s 2016-2017 community report.

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Collective Voices

Hear some of our collective voices in Friends Center’s 2015 – 2016 community report.

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What’s in a name?

Read about Friends Center and our mission to educate children, empower families, inspire teachers, engage community and embrace diversity in our 2014-2015 Community Report.

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