Hope Day Nursery

The History of East Harlem Block Nursery 2

Before there was East Harlem Block Nursery 2, there was Hope Day Nursery.

The history of Hope Day Nursery is one of awareness of a need, action and dedication. At the turn of the 20th century, NYC’s poor and working class communities lacked access to resources needed to stabilize their families.

In 1902, Mrs. Emma Green, a graduate nurse, mentioned to Mrs. Arthur Murray Dodge that there was no nursery for children of working Black mothers. This led to a meeting of interested and enthusiastic Black women in Harlem. From that point, money was loaned, a location secured and a Board of Managers formed. These were the beginnings of the only Day Nursery for Black Children in New York City. The name, Hope Day Nursery, was selected because one member of the committee expressed a hope that their venture would succeed.

By March 1902, Hope Day Nursery had opened its doors on West 34th Street, setting a fee of five cents a day for working mothers. The childcare services offered for these dues were supplemented by contributions of board members, friends and civic-minded citizens in the community.

The nursery moved to a building on West 133rd Street in 1915. This property was provided as a gift through the bequest of a friend, Mrs. Anna Williams. Because of its fine record of achievement and the tireless efforts of its Board of Managers, Hope Day Care became eligible in 1948 to serve as an agency of the Day Care Program of the Abraham Lincoln Houses at 2112 Madison Avenue, where it is now under the sponsorship of EHBN. The nursery is now called East Harlem Block Nursery 2.