Building York’s Brighter Future Through Early Childhood Education
Childcare centers are essential to helping children flourish. Here, young minds can learn through hands-on activities, talking, playing, exploring, singing, laughing and more. A nurturing environment that provides all of this is instrumental in helping children have brighter futures.
York Day Nursery (YDN) knows a thing or two about building bright futures from great beginnings. As a provider of high-quality early childhood education to children between the ages of 6 weeks to 5 years old, ensuring our community’s youngest students thrive in a nurturing, caring and stimulating environment is the center’s primary mission.
The center was founded in 1932 by Ms. Netta Ford, then Director of the York Visiting Nurse Association. Ahead of her time, Ms. Ford understood the benefits the presence of a childcare center in the city would provide to working parents.
While lacking community interest and financial backing led to the center’s temporary closure, support was eventually replenished and the center reopened in 1934. YDN’s presence in the community continued to progress and eventually attracted the support of Arthur Thomas, Executive Secretary of the Family Services Bureau and an appointee to the County Council of Defense.
With Arthur’s help, along with the generosity of local clubs and individuals, YDN relocated to 628 E. Market St. in 1946. YDN remained at this location until 1996, when the need to inhibit a larger facility to accommodate its potential for growth was identified. A larger facility was built at 450 E. Philadelphia St., where YDN continues to operate today.
With the utmost passion for revitalizing York’s downtown core, Louis Appell, Jr., had a master plan for the city’s future. Mr. Appell cared deeply about strengthening its surrounding neighborhoods and overall community. He, too, understood the value great beginnings can provide for the future.
Mr. Appell’s generosity, along with that of the Powder Mill Foundation, is felt in every classroom and shared space at YDN; from the improved playground surface to the books, new bikes and helmets, kitchen equipment upgrades, phones and computers used by all. He was a strong advocate for high-quality early childhood education and offered his unwavering support to YDN’s mission.
Mr. Appell’s contributions to our community are incomparable, as is his support of early childhood education. Because of his support over the many years and now through The Powder Mill Foundation, York Day Nursery has been able to continue to provide high-quality early childhood education for thousands of York County’s most vulnerable children. Those great beginnings will continue to bear fruit for our county for years to come.
Brian Grimm, York Day Nursery Executive Director