Welcome to the Champaign-Urbana Area Early Childhood Guide! It is our belief that there is no single best daycare in Champaign-Urbana, or anywhere for that matter. Not every center 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.
We hope you find these listings helpful. This guide focuses on centers that offer full-time care, although a few may offer alternative schedules. If you are looking for home daycares, we will update that guide soon. Listings are not recommendations; we offer this list as a community service.
If your daycare center is interested in an expanded, featured listing, please fill out this form.
Our program provides children with a loving and nurturing environment where they are valued and celebrated as individuals. Our teachers provide children ages 6 weeks through 2 years of age with unique learning opportunities that facilitate and support brain development. In addition to math, language, and science, our program also includes weekly art, music, and Spanish classes. Our young students are surrounded by a stimulating environment full of the love and encouragement they need to grow and flourish.
What makes your center unique? Children enjoy a daily schedule that is balanced with plenty of time for play and fun, active-learning experiences. Our curriculum supports the development of the whole child.
What the Director Says: We value open communication with our families and view partnerships with them as a vital component in helping each child reach his or her fullest potential.
Location: Next Generation School, 1201 W. Windsor Road, Champaign
FUMCCC has been educating children, ages 6 weeks through 5 years, since 1973. FUMCCC strives to provide a welcoming environment where children learn and grow through hands-on exploration. Teachers use the Creative Curriculum to provide learning experiences in a combination of planned and spontaneous activities.
What makes your center unique? FUMCCC has been awarded a Silver Circle of Quality to recognize that we have gone above and beyond the state mandated requirements for childcare. We have a full size gym as well as easy access to West Side Park, allowing children space for large motor development year round. The cost of formula, food, diapers, and wipes is factored into our tuition rates so parents are not responsible for bringing these supplies.
What the Director Says: The majority of our teaching staff have been with us for 5 years or more, providing an experienced and stable learning environment. They make our center not only a place of learning, but a place of warmth and comfort. — Laura Hendricksen
Location: First United Methodist Child Care Center, 210 W. Church St., Champaign
Licensed for ages 6 weeks to 12 years. Open 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Offering full-time, part-time and drop-in care. Our center features large indoor and outdoor play areas, a planned creative curriculum for all ages, and a CPR and first aid-trained staff.
What makes your center unique? Recognized by the State of Illinois as a Quality Program, Little Wings qualifies for the “ExceleRate IL Silver Circle” by exceeding minimum DCFS licensing standards. Our main objective is to make each child feel nurtured, loved and secured while learning. In order to prepare your child both socially and intellectually for a lifetime of learning, we use a combination of individual time as well as group time in order to reach all the children in the way that they learn best. We expose children to a wide variety of activities in order to provide them with an exciting and stimulating environment.
What the Director Says: While preparing your child for future school experiences, they will be encouraged to explore their world and develop cognitively through thinking, problem-solving and learning many skills though a variety of activities. We are excited for your child to join us and we look forward to meeting you and getting to know you and your child. — Michelle S., Director
Location: Little Wings Childcare & Learning Center, 205 E. Frost Ave., Rantoul
Our school combines academic learning and structured play in a fun, safe and nurturing environment. Children are given plenty of room to discover, explore and learn. This is their introduction to a lifetime of learning, and it’s a journey that should start on the right foot.
What makes your center unique?: Our school uses the Links to Learning curriculum, an integrated series of programs for young learners that engages their senses, mind and body. Each stage of our curriculum builds upon the last, and encourages each child’s interest in discovery and hands-on learning. The curriculum takes advantage of a child’s readiness to learn with fun, easily understood, challenging and meaningful activities.
What the Director Says: We are committed to communicating with parents every day about their child’s progress. When families enroll, they will receive a report and photos each day, accessible through email as well as our mobile app, Links 2 Home. We pride ourselves in offering quality early childhood education.
Location: Chesterbrook Academy, 2001 South Oak St. or 2208 S. Duncan Road, Champaign