Brief History of Five Towns Early Learning Center

The Five Towns Early Learning Center has a long and deep history in the Five Towns area. It is one of the oldest child care centers in Nassau County on Long Island. The Five Towns Cooperative Child Care Center was established in the 1930's as a private child care center. By 1943, the Child Care Center received funding from the Lanham Act. The Second World War created a need for child care centers to care for children whose mothers went to work. After World War II, federal money no longer sponsored day care centers. However, the Five Towns Cooperative Child Care Center was kept alive by parents and concerned members of the community who recognized a continuing need for child care. The Five Towns Early Learning Center, Inc. is a non-profit, non-sectarian child care center licensed by the New York State Office of Children and Family Services and contracted with Nassau County Department of Social Services for purchase of child care services. The Center is located at 112 Wahl Avenue, Inwood, in the Town of Hempstead, in the southern portion of Nassau County.

In 1949, the Center became an agency of the Five Towns Community Chest. In 1952, the Center was incorporated and changed its name to The Five Towns Child Care Center, Inc. In Ten years later, NCJW, Peninsula Section became a co-sponsor of the Center in 1974, sharing in finance responsibility and volunteer participation. Through the years, with the funding generosity of community agencies, friends, and county and state grants, the Center has been able to maintain its facility and move from a custodial to an educational early childhood program. Over 6,000 children of working parents have attended the Center since the late 1930's. In 2010 the center changed its name to The Five Towns Early Learning Center to reflect the understanding that young children are learning each day at the center.

The center has cared for children of working parents for over 70 years. All parents in need of child care can find support there regardless of income. This NY State licensed facility provides quality early childhood education in a nurturing environment as well as breakfast, lunch and an afternoon snack. The teachers emphasize learning through various forms of play so that children develop positive attitudes toward the learning experience. The center provides day care and quality early childhood education for 54 children ages 18 months to five years in a full day setting.

Located in Inwood, New York, the center is in an area where the median income is below the national average while the cost of living is almost double the national average. Consequently, low income working families struggle to pay for child care and support themselves at the same time. The center has created a scholarship fund with the help of support of local agencies and fund raising efforts which allows some qualified families to pay for care at Five Towns Early Learning Center at sliding scale fees.

Become a Volunteer


The Five Towns Early Learning Center offers volunteer opportunities for members of the community. Volunteers from NCJW, Peninsula Section are an integral part of our program, coming weekly to work with the children. High-school students and those who need community service, can find volunteer opportunities here. If you enjoy being with young children, are interested in reading stories to children or would like to share your talents with us, please call the Center at 239-4660. Our volunteers find that what they get out of the experience for exceeds what they give.

How To Donate


Your generosity has a direct impact on the lives of young children. The Five Towns Early Learning Center is a not-for-profit (501c3) organization which depends on support from foundations, government agencies and individuals to fulfill its mission. Your donation is tax deductible in accordance with the rules and regulations of the Internal Revenue Service.

Five Towns Early Learning Center
112 Wahl Avenue
Inwood, NY 11096
Tel: (516) 239-4660
Fax: (516) 239-4910
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