Welcome to the 2013 chambanamoms.com Champaign-Urbana Area Preschool Guide! It is our belief that there is no one best preschool in Champaign-Urbana — or anywhere for that matter. Not every school is right for every child! That is why it is important for parents to shop around, to find what works for your child — and what works for your family.
How to use this guide? Let’s explain.
This guide features schools that:
- cater to children generally ages 2-5, although most are for 3-5. Many require children to be potty-trained upon admission.
- are in session a few hours per day and operate on school-year calendars. There are some grey areas; some schools may offer optional extended care options and some offer extended calendar years.
What schools are NOT in this guide?
- Centers that *ONLY* offer year-round, full-time care are not on this list. If you are looking for full-time childcare, we are developing a guide for you.
- Schools with featured listings are sponsors of chambanamoms.com. If your school would like a featured listing, please contact us.
Name: Carle Auditory Oral School
Location: 810 W. University Avenue, Urbana
Curriculum: The Carle Auditory Oral School is a private school environment for children with hearing loss and normal hearing. Small class sizes, highly skilled teachers, thematic lessons and environmental learning give students the edge they need to be successful both in and outside of school. At Carle Auditory Oral School, children with hearing loss learn alongside those with normal hearing, creating an ideal environment for developing communication and social skills.
Schedule Options: 11-month calendar, beginning in early August and continuing until late June. Children participate in 200 school days, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Before and aftercare is available at an additional cost. A childcare program is available on teacher institute days and July break.
What Makes CAOS unique: The small class size and active learning opportunities help us connect with individual children, forming a positive, nurturing relationship that allows each child to reach new heights.
What the Director Says: “CAOS strives to provide children with a solid foundation of self-confidence, concern for others, academic readiness and enthusiasm for the learning process. We believe these factors set the stage for success in elementary school and beyond. It is such a gift to inspire a lifetime love of learning in the children we serve.” -Danielle Darcy
For More Information: http://www.carleschool.org or 326-2824
Name: Montessori School of Champaign-Urbana
Location: 1403 Regency Drive East, Savoy
Curriculum: Montessori is a brain-based developmental approach tolearning that utilizes carefully crafted, hands-on, sensory based learning materials. Children are encouraged to explore and experiment as they develop independent thinking skills and follow their areas of interest.
Schedule Options: MSCU offers both three-hour and six-hour preschool programs. Wrap-around childcare is available 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. School operates on a 9-month calendar with an optional summer session.
What Makes MSCU Unique: Montessori provides a multi-age classroom environment. The full academic curriculum is available to all ages so that each individual’s style and pace of learning may be accommodated. Children who are developing ahead of their peers are readily challenged.
What the Director Says: “Our committed and caring staff have years of experience educating young children. As a non-profit, parent-owned school, we remain focused on providing the best Montessori education possible. With over 25,000 Montessori schools in 110 countries, our educational approach holds worldwide appeal.” – Deborah Balsbaugh
For More Information: http://www.montessorischoolofcu.org or 356-1818
Name: Cooperative Nursery School
Location: 602 W. Green Street, Urbana
Curriculum: Coop uses The Creative Curriculum by Diane Trister Dodge. This curriculum concept seeks to balance teacher-planned and child-initiated learning, and to respond to the individual strengths, interests, needs, and learning styles of each child.
Schedule Options: Two-year-olds meet twice a week; 3-year-olds (by September 1) meet 3-4 mornings a week, depending on enrollment. Four-year-olds meet 4-5 mornings a week, depending on enrollment.
What Makes Coop Unique: Parent involvement! Coop is dedicated to the cooperative concept of early education where teachers, parents, and children work together to create the best learning environment for every child to reach their own potential of emotional, intellectual, and social growth.
What the Director says: “Coop provides a safe, secure, and engaging environment for our children. Our program is enriched by the involvement of our parents, who bring to the classroom a wide range of cultural, educational, and artistic backgrounds. The high level of parent involvement also facilitates a smoother transition from family life to the world of school.” – Anna Cech
Open House: Thursday February 21, 5:30 – 7:00 p.m. and Friday February 22, 9:30-11:30 a.m.
For More Information: http://www.coopnursery.org/index.htm or 384-1128
Name: Mother’s Morning Out
Location: Behind Temple Baptist Church, 1100 Broadmoor Drive, Champaign
Curriculum: Mother’s Morning Out (MMO) follows the Creative Curriculum (c). We understand that children are learning all the time – and they learn best by being active. We strive to provide a fun, safe atmosphere where children feel comfortable exploring, expressing themselves. We challenge and nurture children to become independent, self-confident, curious learners who can work well with others.
Schedule Options: Mother’s Morning Out Preschool classes meet daily Monday through Friday from 8:30-12:00. There are a number of options available including Tuesday/Thursday, Monday/Wednesday/Friday and Monday – Friday.
What Makes MMO Unique: MMO offers two unique programs within one school; a Drop-In program for children aged 6 weeks through Pre-K and a Preschool program for children aged 2.5 through Pre-K. The Drop-In program allows parents the flexibility to bring their child as much or as little as they need and only pay for the hours used. Similarly, the preschool program allows parents flexibility to chose two-, three- or five-day programs.
Parent Testimonial: MMO Parent Elizabeth Perrachione is enthusiastic about her daughter’s experience, “I really feel as though the teachers know my daughter, care about her, care about us as a family, and want to do what they can to support us in every way possible. This caring environment is what sold me on MMO – especially because it is paired with a keen intelligence and grounded curriculum. Kudos!”
Open House: Tuesday, February 5, 5:30 to 7:00 p.m.
For More Information: http://www.mmo-cu.org or 356-7377
Name: University Primary School (UPS)
Location: Children’s Research Center, 51 Gerty Drive, Champaign
Curriculum: University Primary School curriculum is child-sensitive and responsive to individual patterns of growth, development, learning, and interests. By incorporating the Project Approach into the curriculum, children become actively involved in research and inquiry about topics worthy of their time and energy.
Schedule Options: Preschool class runs daily from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Calendar is adapted from the Champaign Unit 4 Schools.
What Makes UPS Unique: We are Reggio-inspired which means we see children as resourceful, curious, and inventive. We value creativity and connectedness across all content areas, with problem solving and self-directed learning paired alongside teacher-guided activities.
What the Director Says: Our preschool classroom is engaging and peaceful, filled with joyful discovery and active learning! – Dr. Ali Lewis, Interim Director
Open House: February 20 & 21, 8:30 — 12:00 a.m.
For More Information: http://education.illinois.edu/ups/ or 333-3996
Name: Campus Cooperative Preschool
Location: 1203 W. Green Street, Urbana (lower level of the Wesley Foundation)
Curriculum: The foundation of our child-centered, play-based curriculum is guided by the implementation of THE CREATIVE CURRICULUM FOR PRESCHOOL ®, along with an engaging creative arts program, and a multifaceted social and emotional curriculum where diversity is embraced and every child feels valued and cherished.
Schedule Options: The Pre-K class (4-5 year olds) meets Monday through Friday mornings. There are three Preschool (3-4 years olds) program options: M-F class (age 3 by Sep. 1), M/W/F class (age 3 by Sep. 1) and Tu/Th class (age 3 by Sep. 1 with limited spots available for students who turn age 3 by Dec. 31). The program hours are 8:30am-11:15 am with the option of extending the school day to 12:15 for an extra fee.
What Makes CCP Unique: Since 1951, our cooperative-styled preschool has actively utilized parents to enhance the curriculum, provide administrative support, and maintain the physical facilities. Our staff’s implementation of the curriculum embraces the emotional world of children through kind, nurturing interactions helping each child develop a positive sense of self as an active learner.
What the Director Says: “Our program focuses on the developmental needs of each child, the cultivation of imagination, and the love of learning. We provide a safe, nurturing environment where creative play is facilitated by the teachers to ensure that critical skills are learned through a joyful discovery process.” – Lisa Treul
Open House: Feb. 28, 6 to 7:30 p.m.
For More Information: http://
Name: First United Methodist Child Care Center
Location: 210 W. Church St, Champaign
Curriculum: FUMCCC has been educating children since 1965. We know that children learn best by doing. We follow the Creative Curriculum to do just that. Our classrooms allow children to work at their own pace, using their creativity to gain a positive sense of themselves as they experiment and explore. The National Accreditation Commission for Early Care and Education Programs has recognized FUMCCC with an award of accreditation for our commitment to excellence.
Schedule Options: Preschool is open to children 3-5 years of age. We offer one combined age class from 9:00 a.m. to 12 p.m. Two, three, and five-day options available; preschool meets from after Labor Day to before Memorial Day. FUMCCC also operates a full-service day-care program.
What Makes FUMCCC Unique: We have a full-size gym as well as easy access to West Side Park, allowing children space for large motor development year-round. Many of our teachers have been in our classrooms for over 10 years and all are CPR/First Aid certified. We have more teachers per student than other schools, so children get the attention they need. We offer quality care at a competitive rate.
Parent Testimonial: “FUMCCC perfectly prepared our daughter for kindergarten.” -Lisa Merrifield
Open House: Call to schedule a tour!
For More Information: http://champaignfumc.org/childcare/ or 356-1247
Our listings continue, alphabetically:
Name: Busy Bees Preschool
Location: Springer Cultural Center, 301 N. Randolph Street, Champaign
Ages Served: The Busy Bees Preschool program is a kindergarten readiness program for 3, 4, or 5-year olds.
Schedule Options: The program meets from September to May. Classes assemble weekdays Monday/Wednesday from 8:30-11:15am, Tuesday/Thursday and Friday: 8:30-11:15 a.m. or 12:30-3:15 p.m., Monday-Friday 8:30-11:30 a.m.
For More Information:http://www.champaignparkdistrict.com/programs/preschool.htm or 398-2376
Name: Champaign Unit 4 Early Childhood Center
Location: 809 North Neil Street, Champaign
Special information: Children attending the Unit 4 Pre-K classes are selected through a screening process that identifies children who qualify for the program.
Schedule Options: 8:40am to 11:10am and 12:40pm to 3:10pm
For More Information: http://www.champaignschools.org/schools/home/?id=08or 351-3881
Name: Champaign County Headstart
Locations: Champaign, Rantoul, Savoy
Ages Served: 3-5
Schedule Options: Families enrolling in Head Start and/or Early Head Start must meet Federal poverty guidelines and be eligible to receive a child care subsidy. In part-day Head Start, families have the option of their child attending a morning or afternoon session. In school-day Head Start, priority is given to families who are working and/or attending school.
For More Information: http://www.ccrpc.org/headstart/index.php or 384-1200
Name: First Baptist Church Preschool
Location: 1602 S. Prospect Avenue, Savoy
Ages Served: for children 2 to 5 years of age
Schedule Options: 2 day (T/Th), 3 day (M/W/F) or 5 day (M-F) options. Morning classes from 9:00 – 11:30 a.m. and afternoon classes from 12:30 – 3:00 p.m.
For More Information: http://www.fbc-cs.org/preschool/index.html or 356-9167
Name: Faithful Friends Preschool
Location: Faith United Methodist Church, 1719 S. Prospect, Champaign
Ages Served: For children ages 2 to 5
Schedule Options: 2 day (T/Th), 3 day (M/W/F) or 5 day (M-F) options. All classes meet from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
For More Information: Website or 359-3631
Name: Judah Christian Preschool
Location: 908 N. Prospect Ave., Champaign
Schedule Options: Early preschool program (8:30-11:30), half- day program (7:30-12:30) and all-day program (7:30-5:30), 10 months a year
For More Information: Website or 359-1701
Name: Little Lamb Preschool
Location: St. John Lutheran School, 509 S. Mattis Avenue, Champaign
Ages Served: 3 and 4
Schedule Options: The Little Lamb Preschool meets mornings from 8:15 – 11:00 a.m. or afternoons from 12:15 – 3:00 p.m. M-F/T-Th/MWF schedules vary by age.
For More Information: Website or 356-4888
Name: Little Disciples of Peace Preschool
Location: Peace Lutheran Church, 200 West Arnold, Thomasboro
Ages Served: 3-5
Schedule Options: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday from 9 to 11 a.m. Calendar based on Thomasboro school calendar
For More Information: Website or 643-3265
Name: Middletown Early Childhood Center
Location: 101 North Division Street, Mahomet
Ages Served: For children 3-5 who have a variety of abilities and needs. Children must be screened
Schedule Options: Both a morning and afternoon preschool is available for district residents. Meets daily.
For More Information: Website or 586-5834
Name: Montessori Habitat
Location: 805 W. Kirby Avenue, Champaign
Ages Served: mixed age classrooms of 3 to 5 year olds.
Schedule Options: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday.
For More Information: Email Julie@MontessoriHabitat.com or 366-3260
Name: Orchard Downs Preschool
Location: Family and Graduate Housing Community Center, 510 W. George Huff Drive, Urbana
Ages Served: 3-5
Schedule Options: Orchard Downs PreSchool is a part of Family & Graduate Housing and follows the University of Illinois calendar. Half-day program is 9 a.m. to noon, and a full-day program is 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Classes operate when the University is in session.
For More Information: Website or 333-3497
Name: Prince of Peace Community Early Learning Center Preschool
Location: 802 East Douglas St., St. Joseph
Ages Served: 3-5
Schedule Options: 2 or 3 days per week
For More Information: Website or 217-469-9200
Name: St. Malachy Catholic School Preschool
Location: 304 E. Belle Avenue, Rantoul
Ages served: contact school
Schedule Options: Half days Tuesday / Thursday, Monday / Wednesday / Friday, or Monday through Friday. Extended care available.
For More Information: Website or 684-2309
Name: St. Thomas Catholic Preschool
Location: 311 E. Madison, Philo
Ages Served: 3-4
Schedule Options: mornings on Tuesday / Thursday, Monday / Wednesday / Friday, or Monday through Friday. Extended care available.
For More Information: Website or 684-2309
Name: Small Wonders Preschool
Location: Mahomet Christian Church, 908 N Lake of the Woods Road
Ages Served: 3-4
Schedule Options: Classes available for 3-year-olds, Tuesdays and Thursdays 9 am – 11:30 am; Classes available for Pre-K, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 9 am – 11:30 am
For More Information: http://www.mahometchristian.org/preschool.html or 402-5433
Name: University of Illinois Child Development Laboratory
Location: 1105 W. Nevada Street, Urbana
Ages Served: for 3- and 4-year-olds
Schedule Options: 8:30-11:30 a.m., Tues-Fri; closed all University breaks, operates Sept. – May.
For More Information: http://cdl.illinois.edu/classrooms/half-day.htm or 333-0971
Name: Washington School Early Childhood Program
Location: 1102 N. Broadway, Urbana
Ages Served: 3-5
Schedule Options: Children enrolled in Early Childhood Education at Washington School have been identified through a screening and assessment process as needing either Special Education Services or Preschool Readiness Experience. Children attend school 2½ hours daily. Morning and afternoon sessions are available and school busses transport children to and from school.
For More Information: http://www.usd116.org/washington/ or 384-3513
Name: Wee Disciples Preschool
Location: Trinity Lutheran Church, 701 E. Florida Avenue, Urbana
Ages Served: 3-5
Schedule Options: Monday/Wednesday/Friday or Tuesday /Thursday mornings
For More Information: http://www.trinity-urbana.org/Teaching/Preschool.htmlor 367-8923