FCCC Overview

Friends Child Care Center provides a stimulating learning environment for young children that encourage them to be caring, curious, responsible human beings. Our staff of dedicated, well trained and caring individuals promote physical, social and intellectual growth in children while fostering the development of self-reliance and independence.


Friends Child Care Center has 76 children currently enrolled. Families either live or work in the surrounding Center City Philadelphia area and our population reflects racial, cultural and socio-economic diversity of our urban community. Children leave our preschool program competent and prepared; FCCC alumni attend Quaker schools, independent, charter and public schools.







Gwendolyn Bye, owner of Gwendolyn Bye Dancefusion in University City, teaches creative movement weekly to our 2 to 3 year olds.


Maureen Heil, Yoga Child instructor, teaches yoga weekly to our 1-5 year olds.

Yoga and Mindfulness for Schools – Trainings and Support for Educators. You may be wondering exactly how the very smallest of our friends at Friends Center practice Yoga?  My answer is-with eagerness to learn and a curious smile on their little faces. With the young toddlers, the most important thing is to pique their curiousity. By being very animated, playing songs from the Yogachild CD, their Teacher Maureen shows them postures, demonstrates breath techniques, and assists them into postures. Especially for the youngest, an assist can help develop a muscle memory of just how good a pose feels. There is nothing more adorable when she asks the to do “London Bridge” and they rise up off the ground with a smile!  At the end of class, it is important for them to rest, in what is called ‘ Savasana’. This gives the poses and breath time to integrate. No more that a minute for year of age, this is a time all their own that they really enjoy.


Jill Van Balen

Jill Van Balen teaches Spanish weekly to our 2-5 year olds and is from suburban Philadelphia but spent the last 40 years living in Venezuela. From 1993 to 2010, she taught bible classes in Spanish to children in missions. In recent years, Jill taught children’s bible classes in Spanish to family and neighbors of a police prisoner. Her grandson, Schyler, is an FCCC graduate, who enjoys sharing his grandmother with us.



Martha Stuckey
Martha Stuckey is a trained, classical soprano, a gigging funk/R&B singer, and teaching artist. Billy Penn named Martha a “young professional creating the new Philadelphia sound” in 2018. She performs her original music at Maison 208, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, FringeArts and many other venues. She has her MFA in Devised Performance from the Pig Iron School for Advanced Performance Training and the University of the Arts. Stuckey also creates work and performs with Pig Iron Theater Company, SwimPony, Mural & The Mint, Cynthia Hopkins, Lightning Rod Special, and The Bearded Ladies. Martha performs with The Cat’s Pajamas, a Philadelphia-based band that makes music for all ages. While the band has been playing around the tri-state area for almost 30 years, Martha started singing and playing piano with the crew 5 years ago. You can hear her vocals on their latest award-winning album KITTEN KABOODLE. She believes one of her greatest accomplishments to be bringing the joy of music and the tools of expression to children.