11.11 2020

Where do you stand?

When it comes to vision, perspective is determined by where you stand. How we see and interpret scenes or events depends on the angle, distance and the obstructions that may block our view. The same truth applies to more abstract outlooks and ideologies. When we understand our individual positions, privileges and challenges we begin to understand how they influence our perspective. And we recognize that we may need to move from positions that are familiar or comfortable in order to truly obtain a different point of view.

In 2017, Friends Center began an intentional exploration into implicit biases — the lenses or angles by which we see the world — and how they impact our thoughts and behaviors.

This past year, events in our nation forced us all to examine our stance in new and challenging ways. COVID-19 altered our lives and communities, and caused us to reconsider what is essential. The appalling deaths of fellow black and brown citizens re-exposed historic and systemic racial injustices that must be addressed. 

In both cases, we all have been called to action — to take a stand, or take steps to shift our posture in order to truly see, understand and value another’s experience and outlook.

During these trying times, we will continue to rise to the call and move to action, working to ensure that we stand fast to our mission: educate children, empower families, inspire teachers, engage community, embrace diversity.

10.1 2019

Why do we connect?

From before our first breath, we are connected; dependent on umbilical cords and blood ties. As we grow, these connections expand. “Bonds of friendship” develop. We may become “attached at the hip,” “band together,” or embark on “joint ventures.” Psychologists, sociologists, and philosophers have proclaimed the critical importance of relationships to our health, development and overall wellbeing. But when it comes to what we do here at Friends Center for Children, why do connections matter so much? Connections educate us; they empower, inspire and engage us; they help us to understand and embrace each other and the world around us. It is no coincidence that these very verbs activate our mission: educate children, empower families, inspire teachers, engage community, embrace diversity.

Connections are the common thread in our commitment to high-quality early childhood education. Throughout all aspects of our program — from our values-based curriculum and comprehensive emotional wellbeing program, to our parent workshops and community events — we work to strengthen and support the relationships that are critical to learning and life.

10.1 2018

What helps us grow?

Whether you are a parent, advisor, educator, donor, partner, caregiver, or community member who cares about the education of our youngest children, you help Friends Center for Children grow!

We learn and grow best from each other, from relationships that embrace, encourage and sometimes challenge us. Your involvement and support helps us grow as individuals — children, families and educators — and as a program. Because of you, Friends Center is excited to enter a new season of growth, to extend our roots and expand our branches as we strive to meet the continued need for high-quality early care and education in the New Haven area.

READ our 2017-2018 Report

How do you see the world?

It has been said, “She sees the world through rose-colored glasses.” The truth is, for good or for bad, we all have tints on our lenses. Our families, the groups to which we belong, our society — all impact the way we see the world and each other. At Friends Center for Children we are working to be aware of these lenses and the impact they have on us, the community, and children’s development, relationships and opportunities. Exploring our inherent biases allows us to support children and families with empathy and integrity.

Read our 2016-2017 Report

Collective Voices

“I am invigorated by Friends Center for Children’s commitment to encourage and listen to all voices in the spirit of equality. A culture of respect for each and every individual is embedded in the way teachers work with the children; how children learn to listen to one another whether in play, conflict or learning; when staff and parents interact; and how decisions are made around the board table. When voices are drawn out and carefully heard, trust is created, community deepens, individuals are empowered, and creative new pathways evolve.”

– Wendy Kravitz
Emeritus Board Member

Read our 2015-2016 Report

What’s in a name?

What’s in a name? We believe ours says a lot.

Friends Center for Children was established when members of the New Haven Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) recognized the crucial need for additional high- quality early childhood education in the New Haven area. Today our non-sectarian center continues to uphold the Quaker values of community, equality, peace, simplicity, truth and stewardship.

Friends Center for Children is more than a daycare or school. It is a cooperative community that bridges racial, ethnic and economic divides; a community where parents, teachers, administrators and board members all work together to support each child’s growth and education. As a cooperative program, parents are actively involved in the Center – both in the classroom and behind the scenes.

Friends Center for Children is child-centered. Our progressive approach focuses on a child’s learning and growth in all areas, including social, emotional, cognitive and physical. The materials, activities and curriculum of the Center help children to actively explore their environment, play cooperatively, problem solve and develop a sense of responsibility for self and others.

Read our 2014-2015 report