Southwestern Indiana's Catholic Community Newspaper

St. Vincent Early Learning Center Celebrates 100 Years

By Special To The Message

Since 1918, St. Vincent Early Learning Center has served children and families in the Evansville community. The St. Vincent Day Nursery non-profit organization, started on Nov. 18, 1918, by the Ladies of Charity with just 17 children and 2 laypersons at Assumption Parish, now serves more than 162 children (ages six weeks to six years) and employs more than 45 staff members. Compassion and education have guided the center as a critical partner in caring for children during the first and second World Wars, when women were entering the workforce in record numbers. 

In 1931, John Fendrich and his sister, Laura Fendrich McCarthy, donated the Heilman home at 611 First Ave. in Evansville to serve as the Day Nursery. Sixty years later, St. Vincent purchased the former St. Mary’s School of Nursing building, which was owned by Bristol Myers. A major renovation began to expand services to include infants/toddlers. The addition was partially funded with a $200,000 Lilly Foundation grant. 

St. Vincent Early Learning Center supports children’s brain development by offering high quality early childhood experiences.  We create an environment for children that challenges them to think critically, solve problems and work as a part of a team. The agency is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children and has a Paths to QUALITYTM Level 4 rating—the highest level—from the State of Indiana.  

St. Vincent will celebrate its 100th anniversary with three public open houses during the week of Nov. 13. They include:

  • 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Nov. 13
  • 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. on Nov. 14
  • 4 p.m. to 6 pm. on Nov 15

 During the Nov 13 open house, Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke and state representative Ryan Hatfield (D-Evansville) will present proclamations, and outdoor classroom plans will be unveiled. 

About the Center – Founded on the values of the Daughters of  Charity, St. Vincent Early Learning Center is an accredited early childhood education and care center that starts all children on a pathway to lifetime success and coordinates programs and services to help their families thrive. For more information, visit or like us on Facebook