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2011 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Winter Park Day Nursery, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Child Day Care, Children & Youth

Mission: Mission Statement

Winter Park Day Nursery provides a secure, nurturing, educational environment that is affordable and supports family diversity.

Vision Statement

The Winter Park Day Nursery will build a stronger community by providing high-quality, affordable early childhood education that will prepare our children to succeed in school and life.

Programs: Winter Park Day Nursery’s high-quality program includes childcare services for working families, preschool education program taught by college-educated teachers who help all WPDN children leave us ready to succeed in kindergarten, support program for families who attend school or work in lower paying jobs and voluntary pre-kindergarten classes. WPDN focuses on young children from lower income working families.

When parents have access to high-quality, reliable child care such as the Winter Park Day Nursery provides, they are more productive in the workplace and devote less time to personal issues, knowing their children are safe. Employers benefit from reduced turnover and absenteeism. This is an indirect, but important, impact of WPDN’s program.

WPDN’s curriculum, which closely follows the Florida School Readiness Performance Standards, is High/Scope because of its emphasis on teaching children how to think. High/Scope curriculum emphasizes problem-solving rather than unstructured play or teacher-directed drills. The children actively engage in planning, carrying out and reviewing what they are learning. Such high-quality education gives the children the intellectual tools to do better in school; they learn to be critical thinkers.   For classroom management, all WPDN staff members practice inductive discipline and a comprehensive social and emotional intelligence program that empowers both teachers and children. The child is allowed to develop self-discipline through a program based on love, not on fear. The teacher leads the children in building their self-esteem, willpower and self-discipline while helping them to learn from their mistakes. As part of character development, WPDN embraces the basic principles of compassion, tolerance and consideration of others. This is especially important for our children because most come from families facing financial, personal and/or job stresses. The children feel those stresses but don’t understand them.

Community Stories

10 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Board Member

Rating: 5

With all the talk about budget cuts and welfare reform, we seem to forget about the children of the working poor - those who work multiple jobs just to make ends meet. WPDN is a safe place for their children to play and prepare to be successful when they enter school. Every child deserves a place like WPDN.

Board Member

Rating: 4

I have been a board member for 3 years and enjoy so much my involvement with this wonderful Nursery. The Operational Team there is so upbeat and positive even during times of stress when they are trying so hard to get the support they need to keep the nursery going.
The children are a joy and well taken care of both educationally and emotionally. They are provided meals and snacks throughout the day and once or twice a week Shirley makes a dinner meal for the families to take home. The nursery is a great training ground to prepare these children for their young and adult education. I am proud to be associated with this great organization.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Prior to becomming a Board member 4 years ago, I had never heard of the Winter Park Day Nursery. At the time I was looking for a way to become involved in the community and WPDN seemed to be a good fit for me. I have two young children, one who is currently in full time day care and another who was in full time day care (now in elementary school). I took a tour of WPDN and was literally amazed at what I saw and learned about their program. My expectations were far exceeded. The classrooms are lively and engaging, the teachers and staff are highly credentialed, the facility is well maintainted, and the outdoor play areas are top notch. One of my favorite aspects of WPDN that is really unique is the food program. Not only does WPDN have a commercial kitchen and cook on staff to provide high qualilty meals to the children daily, a food pantry is also maintained and a variety of food is available for families to take home anytime they have a need. For many families, the meals their children receive here daily are the best meals they may have all day, and without the food pantry, they may have no food for the night or weekend ahead. In addition, there is a supper program where families can purchase a meal that feeds three for just $5 and includes instructions on how to make the meal. The intent and hope is that families will then be educated on how to make the meal at home themselves, not only preventing them from heading out to a fast food establishment for high fat/poor quality food but also encouraging them to make a meal together and spend time together as a family. This is just one of the many ways that WPDN is not just educating children, but also families in general. There are several other acitivies in place that educate beyond the daily classroom learning.

Sharon C.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am both a profesisonal (Ph.D.) with expertise in the early childhood field and a former WPDN Board Member.
The WPDn consistently works to provide high quality early education and care from well trained staff and teachers to children from all income levels, but mostly low income, working families.
With the budget addition of funds from grants and fundraising, WPDN provides a Cadillac early education at a Pontiac price to families, thereby ensuring a good start in school for dozens of children each year. Support the WPDN!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My husband is a volunteer at the Nursery and I have seen first-hand the positive impact it has had on the lives of the children. It provides an excellent environment for learning and growth. The teachers and volunteers a very dedicated and caring. The focus is on the support of the children and their families.


Rating: 5

Winter Park Day Nursery contributes greatly to the community. Many of us think as Winter Park being upscale and wealthy but it is a diverse community with many needy kids being served by this non-profit.


Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer guardian ad litem advocating for abused and neglected kids for the past 30 years and felt I could help more kids by volunteering at the Winter Park Day Nursery. About 4 years ago, I began interacting with staff and 40+ at risk kids ages 4 and 5. A year later, I joined the Board of Directors and currently originate and facilitate physical education and coordination activities for the kids. Nothing is so satisfying than kids with an "I can't do it" mantra trying new and challenging physical skills and succeeding. The looks on their faces and excitement make it all worth the time I spend.

Board Member

Rating: 5

The community may not be aware that each day the Nursery serves breakfast, lunch and two afternoon snacks. All meals meet and exceed the federal food program’s nutritional standards. All menus are posted weekly so that parents will know what their children will eat each day.
All children all taught that they must wash their hands before each meal and brush their teeth after lunch.

The Nursery has 10 teachers for the 70 children, which is an excellent ratio. 90% of the teachers are college educated and four have bachelor degrees. 2 have Masters degrees or above.

Board Member

Rating: 5

The Winter Park Day Nursery (WPDN) does a tremendous community service as well as a great human service. It better readies children for their entrance into school by allowing them to build their self esteem, will power and self-discipline while helping them to learn from their mistakes.

Board Member

Rating: 5

The Nursery provides an excellent environment for children to learn and grow. Even operating under the financial limitations of a non-proft structure, the staff there finds ways to offer services that support the entire family structure to provide the children with the best possible chance to succeed. From providing healthy meals (including take-home suppers once every couple of weeks), to offering positive behavior support for social skills and coaching for parents, the Nursery offers its clients a wealth of services they otherwise couldn't afford. Winter Park Day Nursery succeeds in preparing "graduates" for kindergarten so they can perform well throughout their education and their lives.