Nurtury delivers a comprehensive set of services that holistically address childrens' core needs children. These services include a robust education program that develops children’s social, emotional, physical, cognitive, and language skills, as well as programs that address any critical issues facing our young students and making it challenging for them to focus on learning.
Early Care and Education Centers: Nurtury’s six early care and education centers deliver services to more than 500 children from birth to age five, in Chinatown, Dorchester, Hyde Park, Jamaica Plain, Roslindale, Roxbury, the South End, and neighborhoods in Cambridge. Our centers follow NAEYC guidelines regarding teacher child ratios, and we provide breakfast, lunch, and two snacks—making up 85% of our children’s daily nutrition. Every center provides care for children from 7:30 am to 6:00 pm* every working day with some having extended hours, as well as transportation to and from home for families that need it. We have integrated the Early Education & Care Minimum Requirements for Health & Safety consistently and exceeded some with offering extra PPE, use of plexiglass in our classrooms and providing individualized materials to children. The EEC guidelines require 1) minimizing potential exposure through small groups and reduced contact between groups, and 2) reducing prolonged contact between individuals within a group, to the degree possible. Simultaneously, we will pay careful attention to the needs of our workforce on whom our system relies; the children and families we serve; and most importantly, to deliver developmentally appropriate high quality care and education for young children during these unprecedented times.
Family Child Care: Nurtury’s family care program is comprised of 130 educators who serve more than 500 children from birth to age 5 in Dorchester, East Boston, Hyde Park, Jamaica Plain, Mattapan, Roslindale, Roxbury, and the South End, and the cities of Chelsea, and Revere. Nurtury provides training and support to help family child care providers achieve high standards in early education, the physical environment, and nutrition. Some provider homes are open as early as 6:00 am. Care is also available both before and after school.
Academics: At the heart of Nurtury’s mission is ensuring that all children enrolled in its Center-based and Family Care programs start school with the tools they need for success. Children begin learning very early and ages 0-5 are in at the peak of their learning capacity. To make the most of this period, Nurtury uses the interactive Creative Curriculum, which allows teachers to monitor the development of their students and adapt their activities throughout the year to meet the needs of individual children and the classroom as a whole. By the time they enter kindergarten, children meet or exceed social/emotional, physical, early-math, and literacy benchmarks for their age including using numbers and counting, comprehending and interpreting meaning from books, writing letters and words, recognizing their own feelings and managing them appropriately, and using thinking skills to resolve conflicts.
Nutrition: Nurtury strives to ensure proper nutrition for all of our children and prevent childhood obesity through programs that engage the whole family. Breakfast, lunch, and afternoon snack are served family-style daily at all Nurtury programs. We offer healthy eating activities in the classrooms and create tasty and fun snacks with the children, like fruit smoothies and veggie chips. “Eating your colors” is a focus for these projects to help children understand that healthy food is colorful, like oranges, apples, and kale. For parents, we have introduced workshops like the Family Dinner Project to educate about the importance of family mealtime and have published a healthy eating guide and blog.
Family Support: Nurtury’s team of Family Advocates work with parents one on one to identify the barriers to economic stability and progress that they face and access the resources they need to overcome these barriers. Through our network of community partners, they help parents secure housing, enter job training programs, obtain jobs, access food programs, enroll for health insurance, see a doctor, and obtain mental health services for themselves and their children.
Professional Development: Nurtury provides comprehensive support to help its teachers, many of whom are single mothers of young children, earn an Associate’s and/or Bachelor’s Degree. Our full-time Professional Development Specialist works with teachers one-on-one to guide them through the college application and financial aid process, and develop and follow an educational plan.
“Parents are the role models who teach our children to make healthy food choices starting at a very young age. Oftentimes, people think that healthy food choices are not possible because healthy foods are more expensive. Healthy food can be affordable, too.”
Director of Nutrition and Food Service