Maria Maltby Love


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(1840–1931) Maria Maltby Love, born in 1840 near Buffalo, New York, was a social architect and humanitarian who crusaded for education, health, and tenement reform. She pioneered two projects to help women and their families achieve better lives: the Fitch Creche (1881)—the first day nursery for the children of working women in the United States—and the Church District Plan (1896), a citywide, interdenominational program designed to provide neighborhood-based community services. Love was involved in the formation of the Charity Organization Society in Buffalo (1877) and organized its first Provident Scheme, the Fitch Creche. Besides being a day nursery, it offered health care programs and the city's first kindergarten to children of poor working women. An on-site nursemaids training school for young women was also the first in the nation. Creche staff provided family services outreach through home visitation, and a system of convalescent care boarding homes was created for ill women and children. The Creche and its innovative programs gained widespread national recognition at the Chicago World's Fair in 1893 and the Pan American Exposition in 1901. Internationally, Denmark and Siam adopted the Creche model.


From Encyclopedia of Social Work in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Social Work.

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