A Letter From The Director
Raechel O'Neal-Coats

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Greetings,

Thank you for your interest in Friends Child Care Center.

 

It is our pleasure to serve the community with the provision of high quality early childhood education in a safe, warm, nurturing environment. Our Center was founded in 1978 by Quaker organizations within the Friends Center complex.

This founding gives us our unique Quaker roots. With that being said, Quaker values transform learning environments for all age groups. Peace, equality, and acceptance are echoed in adult and child interactions, programming and community engagement experiences.

My tenure at FCCC began in 1990 as a pre-service teacher. I was fortunate to encounter such a dynamic program! I went on to team teach at another program working with children with special needs for three years. Subsequently, I returned to Friends Child Care Center with a broadened scope and understanding of child development and an even stronger conviction that early learning experiences for children are invaluable and necessary for later in life success. My three daughters have benefited intellectually and socially, in monumental ways, from their early learning experiences here at FCCC.

 

My husband and I are eternally grateful, as Friends values are very similar to our parenting and family values; this gave us a feeling of comfort and facilitated a parenting partnership we would not have experienced elsewhere.

FCCC has a staff of creative, knowledgeable individuals from diverse backgrounds who are phenomenal! More than half of our teachers have been employed by us for more than 10 years and possess a Child Development Associate credential or degree in early childhood. We invest in our staff by providing generous benefits packages, competitive salaries, annual merit based bonuses, opportunities for professional growth and fostering a healthy workplace environment.

Our school also offers dynamic cultural arts programming throughout the year, including weekly dance, music and Spanish classes. In addition, teachers make good use of our Center City Philadelphia location and plan visits to area children’s theaters and museums as part of classroom curricula.

Parents are always welcomed as we are partners in caring for your children. We invite you to share ideas, give feedback and get involved through volunteerism and participation in school events.

 

Family potlucks, community celebrations and fundraising involvement are just a few ways in which families can contribute.

It is my sincere hope that your FCCC experience will be as rewarding to you and your family as it has been for countless other families including my own.

Warmest regards,

Director of Friends Childcare Center

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Our Mission & Vision 

FCCC provides an enriching environment of love, security and community for children between the ages of 3 months and Kindergarten. Through age-appropriate experiences, our children learn respect for others, self-confidence and social skills.

They develop curiosity about the world and learn to appreciate people who are different from them. The children grow emotionally, physically, socially and cognitively. They build a foundation of competence and confidence that prepares them for everyday situations and, ultimately, for school.

Our Mission states:

Friends Child Care Center is guided by the Quaker belief that there is that of God in every person. This belief inspires and informs everyday life at the Center while it affirms the individual value of each child, teacher and parent. The approach to learning is broad but simple: children learn to get along with other people as they experience the rewards of learning what they want to know.

Friends Child Care Center provides quality child care for young children whose parents are Friends Center employees or live/work in the Philadelphia area. We strive to reflect the cultural and economic diversity of our urban community. We encourage young children in their ability to be caring, curious, responsible beings.

We wholeheartedly embrace this mission for our institution, and we affirm our responsibility as a Board to provide leadership and governance so that Friends Child Care Center can continue to thrive, while remaining responsive to the dynamic external environment and living faithfully by our mission.

We share a vision of FCCC offering:

  • a positive, trustworthy and secure environment at Friends Center;

  • an emphasis on child centered care and learning, with developmentally appropriate educational goals;

  • an affirmative work environment for teachers;

 

Our Philosophy

The program at Friends Child Care Center is based on active learning: developmentally appropriate activities that facilitate and enhance social, emotional cognitive and large and small muscle development, by age and individual readiness in an environment that provides loving support and intellectual stimulation.

The primary emphasis is on social development and learning through active play. Friends Child Care Center supports parenting by enabling children to grow and learn in a safe, stimulating, loving environment.

 

In particular:

  • We are committed to teaching non violence, seeking peaceful resolution of all conflict and to respecting every person as an entitlement of life.

  • We believe in love, laughter and learning.

  • We believe in providing a rich curriculum that gives children choices and is based upon their interests.

  • We believe that every child should feel loved, capable and special.

  • We believe that every child has unique learning needs and it is our job to meet those needs.

  • We believe that the parents of children enrolled in our program are our partners.

  • We believe that our program should be a safe, inviting place for children.

  • We believe that every child should feel proud of his/her religious, racial and cultural heritage.

  • We believe that every child should learn to respect diversity and to honor differences.

  • We believe that if every child feels loved and capable, she/he will become a well-rounded, capable adult.

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Quakerism

There is one story of naming Quakerism that in 1650 George Fox was taken to court to answer for his unorthodox views. While on trial Fox told the judge to, “tremble and quake at the word of the Lord”, and the judge replied, “You are the Quaker, not I”. The term Quaker has become interchangeable with Friend over time.

In the 350 years since, Friends have developed several principles, which they call “testimonies,” which are spiritual and ethical in nature (as opposed to creeds of some other religions), and which offer wisdom and guidance for their daily lives. These “Quaker Testimonies” can be remembered with the acronym of “S.P.I.C.E.S.”

 

Here they are, in a nutshell:

Simplicity: Quakers strive to embrace a commitment to living simply so that others may simply live. For example, this may entail avoiding excess, living intentionally and with restraint, and living a life true to one’s core beliefs.

Peace: This basic Quaker testimony grows out of the belief of “that of God in every person.” It shows both a positive concern towards living in such as way as to remove the occasion for war, as well as a commitment to non-violence in resolving all matters of interpersonal conflict.

Integrity: To live a balanced and spiritually whole life, it helps to be truly in harmony with oneself and in alignment with one’s beliefs and values. Quakers strive to be faithful and consistent in living their truth, and in “letting their lives speak.”

Community: Our ability to live in accordance with our Divine inspiration is strengthened when we work together, recognize each other’s gifts and needs, and support one another. This ethos of community functions within a family, a school, a neighborhood, a country and the whole world.

Equality: Quakerism maintains that there is “that of God” in each person. Accordingly, we are spiritually equal beings, and each of us is entitled to opportunities to express that divinity in our special ways.

Stewardship: We are responsible for the careful use of the natural world, and for that which has been entrusted to us. Historically, Quakers thought of stewardship in relationship to money and property, but we are increasingly understanding it to encompass care of the earth, too.

 

Quakers think of life as sacramental and of all persons as being of value. Religion is not just a Sunday ceremony, but is inseparable from everyday living. Quakerism is not a society of saints, but it can contribute to an emphasis on living responsibly, from a place of love, care and respect.

 

WHAT PEOPLE SAY

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Kathleen K

‘FCCC provides a warm and nurturing environment for children to learn and grow.  My daughter is so happy with all the activities and fun trips that are planned every day.  It is so nice to see the smile on her face when I pick her up at the end of a busy day!’

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Kristin S

I would recommend FCCC to anyone!  From day one, I have felt comfortable leaving my 3 month old in their very capable and loving hands.  It is a testament to the environment at FCCC that so many teachers have been there for so long.  My son loves coming to school every day.’

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Sarah K

FCCC has given us such a gift by providing such a loving and nurturing environment where our son has absolutely flourished.  We could not be happier with our time there – our son literally ran in the front door his 1st day and every day since!’