About Us

Home / About Us

“At East Harlem Block Nursery, parents and staff worked together to help develop the children’s potential. We knew that a good education was more than a curriculum — and more than just teaching the child from it. EHBN was about educating and nurturing the entire family.”

Gardenia White, Former Board Chair

East Harlem Block Nursery, Inc. (EHBN) is a grassroots education-based nonprofit organization. We believe in the empowering value of early childhood education as the foundation for lifelong academic success. Since our founding 55 years ago, EHBN has served nearly 12,000 pre-school age children and four generations of families in the continually underserved East and Central Harlem communities. During this time, we have also provided educational programs and services for the parents and caregivers of our students, with the understanding that support systems like quality childcare are key to establishing their overall economic stability.

Our history is rooted in the vibrant activism and advocacy of the Civil Rights Movement. EHBN grew from a response to the neighborhood’s lack of childcare alternatives. When a group of concerned parents from East Harlem organized in 1965, little did they know the historic significance of this community-organizing effort. Their actions resulted in the establishment of a parent-controlled and operated nursery school – the first ever to receive public funding in New York.

East Harlem Block Nursery, Inc. is dedicated to providing a safe, nurturing and holistic learning experience for our community’s toddlers and pre-kindergarteners. We remain committed to offering reliable, quality childcare for low-income, wage-earning parents and caregivers. We also seek to promote self-advocacy and community involvement that inspires a sense of empowerment on behalf of our families and their neighbors.

Today, EHBN operates three childcare centers located in East and Central Harlem. In addition to child-centered programming, EHBN continues to offer inclusive services that address the needs of the family and the community-at-large.

Children a year


Qualified teachers


Activities a year


From twelve months


East Harlem Block Nursery