Helping working parents raise generations of joyful learners.
In 1885, a group of teen-aged girls formed an organization to make a charitable contribution to their community in Portland. They delivered baskets of fruit and bouquets of flowers to their less fortunate neighbors and to patients at GOOD SAMARITANand ST. VINCENT Hospitals, and called themselves “The Children’s Flower Mission”.
As they grew older, those far-thinking young women became aware of the pressing need for child care on the part of single working mothers. They wanted to ensure that the children would not be neglected, but instead cared for, kept clean, and fed nourishing meals and snacks. In 1906, they opened Oregon’s first child care program, Fruit and Flower Day Nursery of Portland. They hired nurses and charged ten cents per day to care for children from infancy to age seven. The demand was surprisingly high. Fruit & Flower was one of the founding COMMUNITY CHEST agencies in Portland, and built a new home during the Roaring 20s to alleviate overcrowded conditions. In 1928, Fruit & Flower moved into 415 West Park, the first building west of the Mississippi designed for childcare. Fruit & Flower took over management of another nursery during the 1940s, complied with government standards and hired trained teachers.
Fruit & Flower has grown to become one of the more respected child care programs in the state and has maintained its focus on providing assistance to families in need. A scholarship program provides much needed support and assistance to families with major challenges in their lives such as single-parenting, completing college studies, and re-entering the workplace.
Fruit & Flower provides an exemplary environment where children can flourish. We have programs for infants through kindergarten. In addition to our developmentally appropriate program, we provide nutritious breakfasts, lunches and snacks prepared on-site. We also provide families with the opportunity to participate in a variety of child centered activities. Fruit & Flower provides a play-based childcare program that supports creative thinking, respect for diversity and social awareness in each child. We embrace our role in providing a nurturing setting and measure our success in the growth and development of children and families. We enable parents to complete their professional and educational goals by nurturing their children with a stimulating early-care experience.
We have come a long way since the small wood-framed house in downtown Portland. We moved to our current site at NW 24th Avenue and Irving Street in the early 1970s. Our high quality program has become a tradition of excellence to working families in the Portland area. We continue to provide high quality child care for children of families who are employed or in school, and to advocate on behalf of the well-being of children.
More than 100 years later, the traditions of excellence at Fruit & Flower continue. We hire bright, professional, loving teachers, and implement best practices in early childhood education. Decades of SCHOLARSHIP ASSISTANCE have built up endowed funds that are dedicated to providing support and assistance to families in need, helping single parent families to complete training and education and strengthen their earning power. We invest in sustainable practices and are certified eco-friendly by the ECO-HEALTHY CHILD CARE PROGRAM. We are intent to reduce our footprint on the planet and become more environmentally efficient.That imagination that sparked Fruit & Flower more than a century ago continues to challenge and shape us today. Thanks to the founders: Helen Burrell, Dorthea Eliot, Ellen Eliot, Anna Farrell, Ida Farrell, Antoinette Montgomery, Clara Teal and Frances Warren. If you know any of their descendants, please contact RECEPTIONIST@FRUITANDFLOWER.ORG. And if you want to celebrate and further their legacy, we invite you to join us in supporting Fruit & Flower.