History of St. Anne’s

History of St Anne’s

1943       St. Anne’s daycare center opens at 707 N. Cedar

John and Anne Collins of Colville WA made a gift of the building at 707 N. Cedar to the Catholic Diocese of Spokane, with the request that it be used for children. During WWII the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia operated a day care program at St. Anne’s for 40 children whose mothers were working in the war effort.

1946       St. Anne’s cares for orphans

With the end of the war, St. Anne’s began caring for orphans.  Over the next forty years, St. Anne’s cared for and placed over 4,000 infants.

1954       Housing for pregnant single women at St. Anne’s

Responding to a need in the community, St. Anne’s remodeled a portion of its nursery to accommodate pregnant single women. The mothers were cared for while they, in return, provided help at St. Anne’s.

1970       St. Anne’s began to care for developmentally impaired and medically fragile children.

St. Anne’s was asked by the Department of Social and Health Services to care for developmentally impaired children. The home was still operating maternity and adoption programs, but agreed to care for five children. Licensing was increased to fifteen within the first year. Need for the maternity program decreased and St. Anne’s was remodeled to accommodate additional medically fragile, multiply-handicapped children.

1973       Fire!

In 1973 a two alarm fire heavily damaged the first floor of St. Anne’s Children’s Home. All 28 people in the home, including 15 infants escaped with no serious injuries. For the next few decades, St. Anne’s continued its mission to respect, nurture and love life. The ultimate goal was to provide a cheerful, pleasant atmosphere where infants and handicapped children could receive loving, specialized care from a dedicated and loving staff. This was accomplished with the generous support of volunteers, Auxiliary and Board members, and other concerned people of the Spokane community.

1983       The Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia commended for 40 years of service.

The Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia cut their ties with St. Anne’s when the last Sister working left the home. The Sisters were acknowledge and commended for their forty year legacy of service.

1985       CAPA program began at St. Anne’s

The CAPA program  — Childbirth and Parenting Assistance – had its beginnings at St. Anne’s. Mental health counseling and childbirth education classes were offered to single mothers.

1996       The first Caring for Kids Luncheon!

Members of the Ladies Auxiliaries for St. Anne’s and Morning Star Boys’ Ranch joined forces to host a luncheon to raise awareness and funding for the two programs.

1999       Back to its childcare roots

In 1999 St. Anne’s went back to its roots and began offering childcare services again while no longer providing residential care for severely handicapped children.

2004       The new St. Anne’s Children and Family Center was constructed at 25 W. 5th Avenue.

The new St. Anne’s Children and Family Center was constructed at its current location, 25 W. 5th Avenue.


Today, St. Anne’s Children and Family Center provides high quality care and early learning opportunities for over 200 children of all faiths ranging in age from 1 month through 12 years. As a participant in Washington State Early Achievers, it is committed to meeting and exceeding all quality and educational standards for the center and for each child served. The CAPA program, which was housed separately for many years, is now back home at St. Anne’s, allowing the two programs to work closely together assisting both CAPA and St. Anne’s families.