PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – At a time when many public schools are having problems funding early childhood education, a local organization is celebrating 100 years of caring for children and strengthening families.

Federation Early Learning Services started small in 1911 with just three nurseries all within 15 miles of Center City committed to serving working parents. A century later, they’ve continued to expand, serving a thousand children a year from eight locations in the city and suburbs.

The program is rooted in Jewish education, but President and CEO Maddy Malis says they serve a diverse population, “Parents from all walks of life really appreciate that their kids are in environment where respect of one another’s cultures and values are held in high esteem.”

She says they’ve been able to sustain their programs for so long because they can adapt and change with the times and meet the needs of families. They will celebrate their big birthday with a gala tonight at the National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia.

Reported by Suburban Bureau Chief Brad Segall, KYW Newsradio 1060

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