McNeilly Center for Children
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100 Meridian Street
Nashville, TN 37207
Organization Details



Our mission is to provide high quality, affordable early care and education for children ages 6 weeks to 5 years whose parents are working, in job training, or in school, and further, to support the families through parent education and social services.


McNeilly Center for Children was founded in 1916 when Reverend J.T. Coleman established a Presbyterian Sunday School and Mission and named it for his good friend, James McNeilly. The mission quickly discovered that quality child care was an emergent need for neighborhood families. On September 23, 1918, McNeilly Day Home opened as a community based program and began caring for nearly 100 children each day. Over time the McNeilly Day Home evolved into McNeilly Center for Children. McNeilly's long history includes several building and program expansions to meet the increasing child care needs of the community. McNeilly's commitment to providing care to all children was further exemplified when the preschool program secured accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) in 1988. Today, McNeilly Center for Children is one of Middle Tennessee's largest providers of quality child care for low-income families. We serve more than 200 children annually in the East Nashville area of Davidson County. This includes an infant/toddler program and a preschool program serving children ages 6 weeks - 5 years.


As an industry leader, McNeilly Center for Children will maintain its high quality 3 star and nationally accredited program and improve the achievements of its children and families by empowering its teachers and staff, developing dedicated volunteers, and diversifying its financial resources. Five of our primary goals are: 1. Ensure sufficient, sustainable funding to support McNeilly's mission of excellence in early childhood education. 2. Promote McNeilly's outstanding programs to the public, current and prospective donors, and East Nashville parents through marketing and high-profile events. 3. Support McNeilly's staff and families in the education of East Nashville's children and promote the ongoing stability and growth of volunteer participation. 4. Ensure a safe and exceptional learning environment for our children through continuing review and improvement of McNeilly's facilities, grounds and technology assets. 5. Focus on the continued excellence and ongoing pursuit of improvement in McNeilly's programs and support the Board and Management in achieving such excellence. Some of the key accomplishments of the past year include that we provided quality care for almost 200 children in need and maintained 3 Star status. More than 95% of our Pre-K children tested ready to read in kindergarten reading readiness testing.


1.Increased community funding for McNeilly's programs to continue to provide affordable, high quality care for low-income families 2. A new 10,000 square foot building or outdoor space for additional classrooms and multi-purpose recreation areas on our existing property. 3. Increased community awareness about McNeilly's programs and the value of quality early care and education. 4. Diversified funding to help bolster programs, and reduce dependency on unstable funding sources. 5. Fully engaged board and roster of committed volunteers.

CEO Statement

The East Nashville community is improving by leaps and bounds and for more than 100 years, McNeilly Center for Children has been valuable to this process. Our services allow more community members to work towards self sufficiency. By offering our services, parents can work, attend job training or traditional school, with the knowledge that their children are in a safe environment where teachers are dedicated to best practices in child development. The children benefit as a result of high quality care where they can play, learn, explore, and grow. Our goal is for children to enter school ready to learn. We achieve this objective through outcome-based programming. It is the philosophy of McNeilly to actively foster the socio-emotional, cognitive and physical development of our children. At McNeilly, we believe all children deserve quality childcare.

Service Categories

Primary Category: Human Services  - Child Day Care 
Secondary Category: Human Services  - Family Services 
Tertiary Category: -

Areas Served

McNeilly Center for Children serves children in 2 programs in the East Nashville area of Davidson County.

TN - Davidson