On November 11, 1886, twenty-four young women, daughters of some of the city’s most prominent families, announced the creation of the New Bedford Day Nursery, an agency which was to play a vital role in the city’s growing social conscience. These genteel ladies introduced to this area the concept of providing care for children of working mothers who labored at menial jobs for long hours in factories and mills, and set the wheels in motion by purchasing and furbishing a house, hiring a small staff, and setting up a Board of Managers to oversee the workings of the Nursery.

Today, after the passing of one hundred and twenty eight momentous years which we saw New Bedford children and their parents endure the deadly influenza epidemic of 1918 and the historic strike of 1928, this organization changed from its original form of a day care center for the children of working mothers, to today’s non-profit charity that grants funds from its endowment to deserving charities that benefit children of the Greater New Bedford area.

While remaining true to the intent and spirit of those far-sighted 19th Century young woman, the organization has evolved from one of the oldest continuing working nurseries in the country to its present form as the New Bedford Day Nursery Fund, Inc., which each fall awards grants to deserving organizations that benefit children.




To promote, encourage and maintain the highest levels of educational programs for children from all economic backgrounds from the Greater New Bedford area regarding cultural enrichment programs, which will have a positive effect on their mental and physical growth; and to allocate such monies as become available to maintain these commitments.

Board of Managers

  • Kathleen Carter
  • Patricia Gardner
  • Ruth Nicolaci
  • Francine Weeks
  • Deborah Kelley
  • Maryse Toomey
  • Gig Lang
  • Tammy Beckman
  • Suzanne Lindbloom
  • Holly Fitzgerald
  • Kathy Lang