A Dynamic History

  • SINCE 1921

    Orlando Day Nursery has served families in crisis. Founded by WWI widows, the priority for the Nursery during its 98 year existence has been to put parents back to work while providing quality nurturing care for children in downtown Orlando.

  • IN THE EARLY 1920’s

    The husband of one of our founders was a member of the new Kiwanis Club of Orlando. He told the club about these women’s efforts and they decided to throw their support behind the fledgling organization. A house was donated to the Kiwanis Club of Orlando for the first Orlando Day Nursery building.


    Many local groups have supported Orlando Day Nursery throughout our history. The Junior League of Greater Orlando was started as the Junior Auxiliary of the Orlando Day Nursery in 1928. In 1940, ODN received its first donation from Community Chest, now Heart of Florida United Way. The T.G. Lee Dairy supplied the milk for the children at the nursery through the kindness of Mr. Lee, and the T.G. Lee Foundation is still a supporter of our mission.

  • IN 1960

    ODN moved to a new building on Anderson Street. This building had a large kitchen, spacious outdoor play area and room to serve many more children. The Kiwanis Club continued to support ODN by holding an annual garage sale and many local businesses pitched in. In 2005, due to the new I-4/408 connector, the Kiwanis Club built a new facility on Lake Dot Circle. The children have a wonderful playground and organic garden installed in 2011 through the generous donations of KaBOOM!, Disney, the Edyth Bush Charitable Foundation, and the Chesley Magruder Foundation. In 2014, Snapple provided shade for the playground.


    ODN has provided early childhood care and education for working, low-income families in Central Florida for over 90 years. Started as an all-volunteer organization, it is fitting that a group of ODN volunteers was honored as the 909th Point of Light by President George H.W. Bush in 1992. ODN has received the Keeping the Promise Award from Colin Powell’s America’s Promise Alliance. And in 2013, ODN’s contributions to children and families were read into the record of the United States House of Representatives.

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