Fricchione Early Learning Center at Marywood University

Welcome to the Fricchione Early Learning Center at Marywood University

The Fricchione Early Learning Center at Marywood University is a great place for kids to learn and grow in a safe, clean, interactive environment. The Center enrolls children from 8 weeks of age through Pre-K and is open to ALL clients in the community, not just those individuals affiliated with Marywood and other IHM-sponsored institutions. 

Featuring a highly qualified staff, all of whom are certified in CPR/First Aid, the Fricchione Early Learning Center is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and is a Star IV Keystone Stars facility, a designation awarded to childcare providers that exceed state health and safety licensing requirements.

The Fricchione Early Learning Center provides quality child care to those pursuing career, personal, or educational goals. It is founded on the belief that children learn through interaction with other children and adults, and the program strives to meet the developmental needs of each child within a multi-age group setting.


Tuition varies upon a child's age as well as the contracted schedule.
Please contact the Fricchione Early Learning Center for more information.



Thank you for your interest in the Fricchione Early Learning Center! We realize that a child’s early years are critical to lifelong learning. It is our goal to provide a loving atmosphere that emphasizes the development of the whole childbody, mind and spirit.

At the Fricchione Early Learning Center, you will find qualified teachers and staff who are dedicated to providing high quality child care and learning experiences.Through an interactive curriculum and compassionate staff, children who attend the Fricchione Early Learning Center not only build a strong foundation for a lifetime of learning, but also build meaningful relationships and friendships.

We view the parent as the primary educator of their children. Our goal is to supplement your parenting and support you in your role as a parent. Family engagement in schools is a shared responsibility between the parent and the Fricchione Early Learning Center. This collaboration plays a critical role in a child’s academic success. We encourage all families to commit to working together with their child’s teachers to ensure success from an early age!

We hope you will continue to visit our website for updates, announcements, or to see all of the wonderful things that happen at the Fricchione Early Learning Center!

Natalie Lucas, M.S.

History & Curriculum

Our Philosophy

The philosophy of the Fricchione Early Learning Center is to provide an environment where children feel safe and are encouraged to explore materials as well as their relationships with peers and adults. We believe that children learn by doing and thrive emotionally, socially, physically, and cognitively when they are actively engaged with their environment. Experiences are provided to enhance all areas of development of each child, including children with special needs and children from culturally diverse backgrounds.

Developmentally Appropriate Practice (DAP)

“Being DAP” requires meeting the children where they are and enabling them to reach goals that are both challenging and achievable. According to the NAEYC, there is a “commitment to the whole child, recognition of the value of play, respect and responsiveness to individual and cultural diversity, and partnerships with families.”

We opened our doors as the Fricchione Day Care Center in September 1991, serving the children of Marywood’s students, staff, and faculty, as well as children of employees from the former Marian Convent and St. Joseph’s Center. Marywood established a childcare facility on campus to provide quality care and learning experiences for those wanting to pursue career, personal, and/or educational goals. That mission continues today with an expanded vision. As such, the Fricchione Center accepts ALL clients from the community, not just those individuals affiliated with Marywood and other IHM-sponsored institutions. Following a temporary closure in 2020 during the pandemic to renovate the facility and further enhance the curriculum, the program relaunched in 2021 as the Fricchione Early Learning Center at Marywood University. 

Contact the Fricchione Early Learning Center today to learn more about our programs, attendance options, and pricing plans.

  • The Fricchione Early Learning Center is located on a safe, secure 115-acre suburban campus with plenty of green space.
  • The children’s overall educational experience benefits from collaborations with many university departments, including Marywood’s School of Education, and an expanded curriculum in the field of early childhood education.
  • Recent renovations and modernization efforts feature upgraded classroom and wireless technology, including tablets and iPads for the children, physical facility improvements, and a secure entryway with contactless check-in.

    The Fricchione Center promotes DAP through the implementation of The Creative Curriculum, which is a research-based curriculum that features exploration and discovery as a way of learning, enabling children to develop confidence, creativity and critical thinking skills.

    Interest Areas

    Meet the Fricchione Staff

    Chesna Andrade-Foster
    Hillary Bockelkamp
    Patricia L. Deschaine
    Patricia Glinsky
    Erin Renee Higgins
    Natalie N. Lucas
    Kristen Marmo
    Erin Mitchell
    Julianna Penetar
    Natalie E. Walsh