The Friends Center for Children was founded in 2007 by the New Haven Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), who have been an active part of the New Haven community for more than 60 years. In the fall of 2000, Friends’ members began discussing ways they could share their commitment to the principles of community, equality, peace, simplicity and truth; contributing to the care and education of young children was the answer - children in the Friends Meeting house as well as in the broader community.
“I wanted my family to be in a cooperative school that was diverse, where racial, cultural, and economic barriers could be crossed in the shared goal of caring for small children,” explained one of FCFC’s founding members Michael Anderson. Even after his kids were too old to attend, Michael continued to work towards creating a high quality center for early childhood care, propelled by his convictions about the benefits of creating a place where diverse families could learn together cooperatively.
Greg Moschetti, another Friends member, father, and FCFC founder, wanted to help children in the community learn and grow, and he saw the advantages that Quaker principles could offer education. “I believe that there is something very special about Quaker education, especially when it is coupled with a multi-cultural, multi-racial, socio-economic mix of participants.”
Determined to make this dream a reality, Friends Center organizers investigated existing neighborhood options, and discovered a tremendous unmet need for quality daycare. The constraints of poverty caused many of Fair Haven’s children to start their formal education academically behind their peers in more affluent communities. The desire to improve this situation spurred the Founders forward.
FCFC’s third founding member, Linda Anderson Miller, having helped found Cold Spring School, knew the incredible effort it took to start a school, as well as its potential for incredible results. “It was such a transforming event in my life, my son’s and eventually all of the Cold Spring families’ that I wanted to be part of that type of movement again.”
In 2007, the Friends Center for Children was officially incorporated and opened its doors as a non-sectarian year-round early childhood care program - created to serve families from diverse socio-economic and cultural backgrounds.
Located at the Friends Meetinghouse in the Fair Haven Heights section of the historic Quinnipiac river community, FCFC operates under the spiritual care of the New Haven Friends Meeting, but remains organizationally and financially independent of the Meeting. The FCFC Founders, the staff and administration, the families, and the Board are devoted to supporting economic, racial, and cultural diversity within Friends Center.