A Model of Excellence in Infant, Toddler, Preschool, and School-Age Care and Education

aka Children's Village Child Care Center   |   Philadelphia, PA   |


MISSION STATEMENT Children’s Village is a non-profit educating young and school-age children, current and future teachers, and families. Children’s Village is distinguished by teaching excellence, a comprehensive and holistic framework, and a focus on inclusion and diversity. Working together with children, families, and the community, we promote a society that is fair, compassionate, and economically vibrant.

Notes from the nonprofit

Since 1976, Children's Village has been setting the highest standard of quality and preparing thousands of young children to achieve their potential. Central to our best-practice approach is supporting parents and families as children's most important teachers. As a passionate early learning advocate, Children's Village works to ensure the doors to affordable, high-quality early learning and school-age enrichment are open to every child. Through its on-site Adult Learning Lab, Children's Village provides professional development for early educators, administrators, early care and education students, and policy makers. Effective teachers in the classroom is one of the most critical components to a quality early education and a means for increasing the number of child care programs that achieve high performance standards. We are committed to ensuring that all children, families, and communities thrive.

Ruling year info


Executive Director

Ms. Mary E. Graham

Main address

125 North 8th Street

Philadelphia, PA 19106 USA

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NTEE code info

Kindergarten, Nursery Schools, Preschool, Early Admissions (B21)

Children's and Youth Services (P30)

Adult, Continuing Education (B60)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Sign in or create an account to view Form(s) 990 for 2022, 2021 and 2020.
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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

During the first five years of life, 90% of brain development occurs, critical to all future cognitive, social, emotional, and physical development. Living in one of the nation's poorest large city, Philadelphia’s children face extreme challenges: 1 in 3 children under age 18 lives below the poverty line; 17% live in deep poverty. Poverty’s strain on a family undercuts a child’s ability to learn. Quality early care and education (ECE) and school-age enrichment a provides a safety net. Students who attend high-quality pre-k are more likely to: graduate high school, enroll in higher education, and have increased lifetime earnings. Philadelphia’s anti-poverty plan Running Start Philadelphia, prioritizes support for ECE to meet the diverse needs of underserved children, including immigrant, refugee and dual language learners. Children's Village meets the highest quality standards for ECE and school-aged enrichment reaching children who are low-income and English language learners.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Early Childhood Education Program

Children’s Village is a model of excellence in early care and education. Since 1996, we have earned accreditation by National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), the benchmark of quality, and are rated STARS 4A (the highest) by Pennsylvania’s Keystone STARS initiative, measuring quality early learning programs.

Our licensed Early Education Program serves infants, toddlers and preschoolers, preparing them for kindergarten and ongoing academic success. In general, more than 80 percent of the children are from low-income families and 65 percent of the children speak a language other than English at home. The majority of our preschoolers are enrolled in Head Start, which serves very low-income families. The Early Education Program operates year round, Monday-Friday from 7:15 AM to 6:00 PM.

Population(s) Served
Infants and toddlers
Ethnic and racial groups

The School-Age Program provides year-round, academically focused out-of-school-time (OST) activities, including intensive literacy support, for at-risk children in grades k-7th. Our curriculum-based program includes: academic assistance, enrichment activities, social-emotional learning, recreation/play, computer literacy, family involvement, and healthy meals/snacks. Experienced teachers, many with advanced degrees, staff the Program.

Our commitment to excellence is unwavering. We adhere to the Core Standards for Philadelphia Youth Programs and the School-Age Care Environmental Rating Scale, and incorporate Project Based Learning. Integral to our best practice approach is assessment of children’s progress. Teachers use the results to impact classroom practice and instruction. The School-Age Program also has a comprehensive parent engagement component, including a Parent Education Series and translation and interpretation (Chinese) services for families.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Research affirms that meaningful engagement of families in their children’s early learning supports school readiness and later academic success. Our Parent Engagement Program supports Children’s Village’s economically and racially diverse parent population (and family members) as their first teachers. Program components include a Parenting Education Series on topics relevant to early childhood issues and parenting; parent-teacher conferences); home visits for Head Start children (had been paused due to pandemic); interpretation and translation services to facilitate communication, understanding, and a working relationship between Chinese speaking parents and non-Chinese speaking staff; English classes for Speakers of Other Languages; and volunteer opportunities (had been paused during the pandemic).

Population(s) Served

The Special Needs and Family Support Program addresses the social and emotional needs of young children. The Program offers an integrative system that is designed to prevent typical age-related social-emotional issues from escalating into more persistent, problematic behaviors. Concurrently, the Program provides teachers and parents with effective interventions and strategies for working with children with challenging behaviors to promote the development of positive social skills and the child’s successful integration in the classroom. Equally critical, the Program works with behavioral and developmental health providers to ensure that children with special needs and their families receive the support they need.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

The goal of the Early Learning Educator Development Program is to have well-trained and effective teachers to ensure that our youngest learners have access to and receive a quality early education that promotes school readiness and improved educational outcomes. The program objectives are to: 1) attract, retain, and develop professional, committed, and passionate early education teachers and 2) increase and enhance the knowledge and skills of teachers by providing a wide array of professional development opportunities. By investing in our teachers, Children’s Village is helping to ensure that our educators continue to have the skills and expertise to foster positive relationships, rich language experiences, and quality learning environments, building the foundation of success in school and life.

Population(s) Served

Children's Village established the Learning Lab professional development resource program for early educators and center- and family-based administrators from across the city and region. Children's Village's classrooms accommodate trainees, observers, and interns. Our entire program is available to Institutions of Higher Education, Quality Improvement Initiatives, and others seeking training and education in a high quality ECE program that can demonstrate how ECE excellence looks, feels and sounds (on-site acess has been paused during the pandemic). Zoom (and when possible) in-person workshops are taught by our highly qualified and certified educators, accompanied by hands-on classroom observation (paused during pandemic). Children's Village Learning Lab is the region's only training hub for education professionals embedded in a nationally accredited ECE program.

Population(s) Served

Where we work


Pennsylvania’s Equity in Early Childhood Education Champion Award-Silver Level 2022

Office of Child Development and Early Learning

Honored as an Outstanding Equality Program, Diversity & Inclusion Award 2019

The Philadelphia Inquirer

High-Quality Inclusive Practices 2018

Public Health Management Corp.

Excellence in Engaging Diverse Families 2011

National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of students showing improvement in test scores

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth

Related Program

School-Age Program

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success


Context Notes

Due to the pandemic's emotional toll on many youth in our program, Children's Village deepened our curriculum's focus on social emotional learning (SEL) and is vetting an effective assessment tool.

Average number of years of formal education for teachers/instructors

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Other - describing something else

Direction of Success


Context Notes

As of March 2023, of our 23 Lead Teachers, 8 have earned Masters, 11 have earned Bachelors of Arts, 4 have earned Associates, and 1 is pursuing an Associates.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Children's Village Strategic Plan 2022-2025
Ownership of Excellence speaks to outlining paths to ensure distinction as practitioners and advocates.
• Maintain and enhance excellence for children, teachers, administrators, and families.
• Maintain and enhance a professional environment of continuous learning and growth.
• Institutionalize the organization’s participation as an advocate for high-quality early childhood education and academic enrichment; equitable teacher compensation; affordable, accessible, and effective teacher preparation; and use of business practices to support, scale, and distinguish quality.

Ownership of Community speaks to engaging the passion and talents of parents/families as well as Staff in the future success of Children’s Village.
• Engage parents and families more deeply as partners in their child’s development and education.
• Enhance understanding of Children’s Village as a whole – a system of interrelated parts – in support of model replication in the field.

Ownership of Sustainability speaks to unlocking the organization’s full potential by putting in place a higher-profile Board, expanded marketing, a fund-raising program underpinned by Staff-Board collaboration, a longer financial planning horizon, and facilities that are commensurate with the quality and vibrancy of the Children’s Village program.
• Elevate ongoing Board engagement in advancing the mission and in realizing the vision of Children’s Village.
• Heighten the organization’s visibility and profile outside the early childhood education community and its immediate geographic neighborhood.
• Generate resources to help fund current operations, new projects, and reserves.
• Define the full portfolio of services, products, and target audiences to secure new and diversified funding.
• Focus on short-term, near-term, and long-term financial management and planning to ensure the continued fiscal health.
• Maintain the quality, aesthetics, and usefulness of the physical infrastructure to reflect the quality and vibrancy of the programs and services.

Elevating our Level of Excellence: Strategic Plan 2022-2025
See also, details provided under our Goals, above.
With our mission, vision, and core values providing the framework, Children’s Village will build upon our recent accomplishments to elevate our level of excellence.
Children's Village will:

• Deepen our distinction as practitioners, trainers, and advocates, including earning reaccreditation*;
• Fully engage the passion and talents of our families, staff, and volunteer leadership; and
• Harness the resources required to deliver programmatic excellence to children, educators, administrators, and families.

*Children's Village earned 5-year accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) in November 2022, achieving near-perfect scores. NAEYC then selected several of our classroom and program portfolios to share with others pursuing accreditation.

*Investing in Children's Futures by Investing in Our Staff
We know that one of the best investments we can make is in our staff. Our staff team includes not only our talented teachers but also our family partnership, nutrition, language and special needs, and others. Together, they ensure that we support the whole child. Offering higher wages and better benefits will help address another pressing issue: recruiting and retaining a high-caliber workforce in a sector confronting severe staffing shortages.

*Emerging from the Pandemic
From the pandemic's onset and our mandatory closure (March 2020) to our reopening (July 2020), enrollment plummeted from 426 to 28. As of March 2023, we are serving 420+ children, nearly the same number that we did pre-pandemic. Thanks to federal, state, and local funding; individual donors; Board leadership; and the dedication of staff, Children's Village has emerged intact from the crisis and increased our capacity to provide our high-quality programming to more children.

Committed to excellence, Children’s Village measures program quality through achieving licenses, certifications and standards-based accreditations, including:
• Pennsylvania Child Care Licensing Regulations dictating health and safety standards and other policies;• National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) voluntary accreditation relating to ten research-based standards, incorporating extensive self-study and quality improvement process, an on-site visit by NAEYC Independent Assessors to verify that Children’s Village meets the ten program standards, and hundreds of corresponding individual criteria . Environmental Rating Scales (ERS) used by PA Keystone STARS program. • Head Start and Pre-K Counts Performance Standards • Through assessments, teachers monitor children’s progress and modify curriculum to meet individual needs.Twice a year teachers prepare for parents a comprehensive development report for each student.

Children's Village is locally and nationally recognized as an advocate for high quality ECE and school-age enrichment. In 2010, we were one of 10 ECE programs recognized nationally for excellence in Engaging Diverse Families. In Fall 2019, we were recognized as an Outstanding Equality Program by the Philadelphia Inquirer's Diversity and Inclusion Awards program. Also in 2019, 15 Children's Village parents testified in one of ten Federal Administration for Children and Families (ACF) Forums to offer feedback on how ACF can Support Working Families. Children's Village has provided leadership in documenting the pandemic's devastating negative impact on the Child Care industry and on parents who continue to need care for their children as they work. Director Mary Graham trained hundreds of child care directors and owners via Zoom in business practices needed to survive the pandemic and access relief funding.

Our Special Needs and Family Support Program, led by a child psychologist and our bilingual/bicultural Family Partnership team identify, treat, and reduce developmental and behavioral issues among the children in our program. Parents of Head Start participants receive home visits twice a year (via remote platforms during the pandemic); families are offered parent education classes on parenting and child development topics (in Chinese and English) as well as English as a Second Language classes. Family members also participate in policy and program committees and are surveyed each year to determine satisfaction with programs.

Children’s Village is led by a volunteer Board of Directors, which continues to include parents of former students enrolled at Children’s Village, adults who themselves attended our program, and diverse professionals. Our most recent Strategic Plan informed our approach to Board volunteer management, including self-assessment tools and leadership training. The Board has active sub-committees (Finance, Governance, Board Recruitment, Development) and 100% of members are donors.

Guided by the goals and initiatives identified above, Children’s Village achieved several accomplishments during our most recent Strategic Plan cycle: 2019-2021. It is critical to note that this timeframe encompassed a pandemic that triggered a: 15-week (March 16 – July 1, 2020) mandated closure; severe enrollment drop; and funding crisis. Despite these challenges, Children’s Village continued put the needs of children and families first, as reflected in the following milestones:

• In our 47th year in 2023 as an independent, non-profit organization.
• Honored as OUTSTANDING EQUALITY PROGRAM by The Philadelphia Inquirer's inaugural Diversity & Inclusion Awards Gala (October 2019).
• Secured pandemic-related loans and grants that allowed Children’s Village to preserve our staff team intact for our July 2020 reopening.
• Pivoted several preschool classes to remote learning due to families’ pandemic concerns. Certified teachers led Zoom classrooms for 160+ children from September 2020-June 2021. Parent feedback was overwhelmingly positive.
• Renovated our facility, including adding classrooms and completing technology upgrades. The expansion allows us to welcome 56 more children--including for the first time—infants. Our new Infant Care Program opened in September 2021.
• Connected with students and families during our closure and rebuilt enrollment from 28 children at our July 2020 reopening to 420+ children as of March 2023, nearly the same as our pre-pandemic enrollment total.
• Awarded William Penn Foundation grant to develop alternative ECE career pathways, including piloting recruitment, training, and retention programs, aimed to address a pressing need for qualified ECE professionals.
• Selected to participate in two invitation-only national public policy forums (fall 2019).
• Hosted legislators and other esteemed officials, including Dr. Bernadine Futrell, Director, Office of Head Start, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, showcasing our commitment to high-quality for all children, including those from low-income families and learning English, and discussing how policy played out in our day-to-day operations, especially during the pandemic.
• Engaged friends and supporters as child care advocates and promoted voter registration and census participation via our electronic newsletters, which have a distribution list of 1200+ individuals.
• Hosted highly rated workshops, including Advanced Business Best Practice Series for Program Directors, via our Adult Learning Lab ECE professional development program. Due to the pandemic, the Learning Lab shifted from our state-of-the-art on-site training center to remote sessions. The growing, exceptional reputation of the Learning Lab created a critically-needed new revenue stream.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    we translate surveys for families whose primary language is not English



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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


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Connect with nonprofit leaders


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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Board of directors
as of 04/19/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Ms. Sharon Ward

Education Law Center

Term: 2016 - 2024

Abigail McMahon

Public Health Management Corporation

Matthew A. Fontana

Drinker, Biddle & Reath, LLC

Samantha Kats

Stradley Ronon

James Martin

Jim Martin Associates

Meredith Jermann

PNC Bank

Philippa ‘Pip’ Campbell

Consultant; Thomas Jefferson University (Ret.)

Robert M. Jara


James McElwain

Institutional Investment Executive (Ret.)

Maggie Soboleski

Center City Law Offices, LLC

Vince Annerhead-Harris


Hannah Clements

Hardy Williams Elementary School

Jeffrey Lynds

CAA Sports

Jacqueline Kameen

J.P. Morgan

Hannah Clements

Hardy Williams Elementary School

Nabila Dahodwala, MD

University of Pennsylvania

Jacqueline Kameen

JPMorgan Chase

Zachary Paris


Christina Van Het Hoen

Macquarie Asset Management

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 3/9/2023

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

No data


No data