FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ChildCareGroup is celebrating its 120th anniversary in 2021
CCG plans to denote milestone year with a social media campaign and roster of events that shine a light on the intersection of child care, workforce issues, and the COVID-19-provoked She-session
DALLAS – March 1, 2021 –ChildCareGroup, the oldest and largest early childhood education provider in North Texas, is celebrating 120 years of service in an industry that is as relevant today as in 1901. The organization was founded as the “Dallas Free Kindergarten & Industrial Association” and later named the “Clara Chaison Free Kindergarten and Training School” by Dallas’ early 1900s philanthropists.
Recognizing a need for women, primarily those working in the Dallas cotton mills, CCG’s founders made Dallas the first city in Texas to offer free childcare so parents could work while their young children were cared for and educated. 120 years and two pandemics since CCG’s founding, the need for convenient, affordable, quality child care persists. In fact, in February 2021 the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas released research linking COVID-19 pandemic-induced lack of child care to an unprecedented decline in the share of working mothers—especially Black mothers—in the U.S.
CCG has exponentially expanded its reach since 1901. From the single Clara Chaison School, known as the Neighborhood House, at 125 Cedar Springs Road in Dallas where eight teachers taught 100 children, it now serves more than 60,000 children, parents and early childhood professionals in North, Southeast and Central Texas.
“Our founders understood then what we know is still true – women who need and want to work to support their families can’t do so without safe, affordable, quality child care,” said Tori Mannes, CEO of ChildCareGroup and a working mom herself. “They also understood families and the entire community suffered when parents couldn’t work and children didn’t receive early childhood care and education. We are proud that 120 years later, CCG continues to operate and advocate for high-quality early education and child care, while solving “She-cession” and systemic social justice issues.”
According to the Texas State Historical Association, ChildCareGroup is considered the first Settlement House in Texas. The founders included luminary Dallas women and men of the time, many of whose philanthropic legacies continue today: Mrs. Morris Liebman, Mrs. Beulah A. Marshall, W.H. Gaston, Mayor Ben E. Cabell, George N. Aldredge, Oliver Thomas, J.C. Conway, George W. Blair, Alex Sanger, and Wendel Spence. Betsy Cullum, who currently serves as ChildCareGroup’s board chair, is the great-great-granddaughter of co-founder George N. Aldredge.
ChildCareGroup will kick-off its 120th anniversary with a social media campaign that will take a walk back in time with iconic photos and moments throughout its history. Follow CCG’s story on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn. In addition to the social media campaign, the organization is planning a slate of events which will launch with a retirement drive-through parade celebrating the 51 years of service by beloved preschool teacher Ms. Bobbie Blair, on Friday, March 5 at 11 a.m. at CCG’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Center, and will culminate with an event on the actual day of the agency’s founding, September 14. CCG is working to schedule other socially distant and virtual events to honor its volunteers, teachers, and alumnae as well as serve as a forum to showcase the importance of child care and early childhood education. More information will be provided once events are confirmed. All events will take into consideration local health and safety guidelines.
ChildCareGroup has always embodied what is today called the “Two Generation Approach” – a holistic model that educates young children and supports parents on their path out of poverty. With 90% of brain development occurring by age five (CEITraining.org), early education enables children to be kindergarten ready and have the foundational skills and social-emotional fortitude needed to be successful. Without it, children are 25% more likely to drop out of school, 40% more likely to become a teen parent, and 70% more likely to commit a violent crime (source: First Five Years Fund.) Today, CCG is working with other early childhood stakeholders across the state to support policies that promote quality, affordable, accessible care and education for all Texas children as part of a comprehensive agenda for the 87th Texas Legislative Session.
Established in 1901, ChildCareGroup teaches children and parents, trains early childhood professionals and assists families. ChildCareGroup believes that all children, regardless of background, zip code or circumstance, deserve a quality early education and a solid foundation to prepare them for success in school and life. Using a two- generation strategy, ChildCareGroup combines its holistic early childhood programs with support services for parents to help the entire family thrive. For more information about ChildCareGroup, visit: https://childcaregroup.org/.