Ethel Seiderman is nationally recognized for her creative approaches to childcare and family, establishing cooperative nursery schools tied to parent education programs. Growing up in the Bronx during the Depression years, and educated at Brooklyn College during the McCarthy era, Ms. Seiderman worked in the settlement movement, first at the Henry Street Settlement House in the lower east side of Manhattan and later at the Roxbury Neighborhood Center in Boston. Under the auspices of San Francisco State University she directed the nurseries in the Cross Cultural Education programs, providing experiences to children and opportunities to parents in order to build a greater sense of community and communications across diverse populations. She established and directed one of the first infant care programs in the state, the Florence Crittendon Infant Center, geared to providing quality childcare to teenage mothers while they finished school.
In 1973, she founded the Fairfax-San Anselmo Children’s Center, which has served as a model for other programs throughout the nation. The Center consists of the infant-toddler program, pre-school and after-school programs, and the “Get Well Room.” Her exemplary Parents Service Project provides workshops, support groups, respite care and family events, all of which contribute to enhancing the leadership and sense of competency of low income families from diverse backgrounds.
Ms. Seiderman passed away in 2016.
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