Thanks to Lodgic Kids Camp for sponsoring our Champaign-Urbana preschools compilation. Lodgic Kids Camp is a flexible, play-based learning environment of discovery and exploration. Intentionally designed for today’s on-the-go families who juggle priorities, Lodgic Kids Camp helps families balance what’s important to them by providing come-and-go, drop-in childcare that is safe, fun, and dependable. It is a high-quality early childhood education experience with a distinct focus on caring for others, social responsibility, and community contribution. For more information call (217) 607-8184, check out their website or Facebook.
Welcome to the annual Champaign-Urbana Area Preschools listing. It is our belief that there is not “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.
This guide features schools that:
- cater to children generally ages 2-5, although most are for 3-5. Many (but not all) 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 gray 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 childcare in Champaign-Urbana, please read Finding Childcare in Champaign-Urbana.
All listings are paid sponsors of chambanamoms.com. Are you interested in being a part of our Champaign-Urbana Area Preschool Resource and aren’t already listed? Please complete this form.
Preschool curriculum: The foundation of its child-centered, play-based curriculum is guided by the implementation of The Creative Curriculum for Preschool, along with an engaging creative arts program, and multifaceted social and emotional curriculum where diversity is embraced and each child feels valued and cherished.
What makes your preschool unique: Since 1951, this cooperative-styled preschool has involved parents to enhance the curriculum, provide administrative support, and maintain the physical facilities. There is a very high staff retention rate with many teachers having been with the program for over 10 years. Using their backgrounds in child development, the 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: “We are an affordable, non-profit, secular, play-based, early childhood education program. We provide a creative, intimate learning environment that allows children to feel valued while developing cognitive, social, and emotional foundations.” — Sara McHenry, CCP director
Location: Wesley Foundation (Lower Level), 1203 W. Green, Urbana
Call or email for a tour!
Preschool Curriculum: FBC Preschool is a fun, hands-on school readiness program. Get Set for School by Learning Without Tears, is an award-winning Pre-K curriculum what focuses on playful learning to develop coloring, drawing, counting, building handwriting readiness and keyboarding. This easy-to-teach curriculum makes learning important pre-writing and letter recognition skills engaging and fun for the preschool students.
What Makes Your Preschool Unique: The preschool teaching staff strives to teach the values of Christian faith to the preschool children through guided conversations, spontaneous teachable moments, Bible stories and songs. FBC preschool offers small classroom size with no more than 10 preschool students per class so that student/teacher ratio is at its best. Our 3 and 4/5-year old classes have one teacher per classroom and or 2-year-old classes have two teachers per classroom.
What the Director Says: The preschool has been a part of the community since 1983 and has a caring, dedicated teaching staff that is committed to helping each chil grow and develop. The director’s name is Jaymie Shine and has been with the school since 1991.
Location: 1602 S. Prospect Ave., Savoy
Cheryl Black, Preschool Director
Preschool Curriculum: Our program provides children with a warm, loving, and nurturing environment where they are valued and celebrated as individuals. Our teachers provide individualized learning opportunities for each student, always challenging them to extend their thinking while providing the loving support a child needs to feel in order to do so. In addition to math and language, our program also includes art, science, music, Spanish and literacy classes taught by specialists.
What Makes Your Preschool Unique: The newly constructed preschool building supports our dedication to holistically educating each child. A science classroom, indoor gymnasium and reading room provide preschool students with unparalleled learning opportunities. Children enjoy a daily schedule that is balanced with plenty of time for play and fun, active-learning experiences.
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: 2508 Galen Drive, Champaign
Preschool Curriculum: For almost 60 years, Montessori School of CU has been a home away from home for our students, faculty and families. We are a community committed to encouraging life-long learners, respecting independence, and positively impacting the world — one child at a time. From 15 months to 12 years old, we have prepared spaces for your children to explore!
What Makes Your Preschool Unique: MSCU is a school where students are known and respected as individuals while being challenged and supported in their growth. Our mixed aged classrooms offer personalized learning at his/her own pace through hands-on exploration, guided practice, integrated projects, peer-mentoring and collaboration.
What the Director Says: What makes MSCU truly unique is our professional, caring, and committed staff whose sole purpose everyday is to provide an outstanding educational experience for each child. Monica Huang, Head of School
Location: 1403 Regency Drive East, Savoy
Preschool Curriculum: Carle Auditory Oral School (CAOS) is a private school program focused on listening and spoken language development. Originally founded as a school for children with hearing loss, it was quickly discovered that the hands-on, language-rich learning environment has tremendous benefits for children with normal hearing as well. 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.
What Makes Your Preschool Unique: 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.
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. –Danielle Chalfant, Carle Auditory Oral School
Open House Date(s): Please call to schedule a tour.
Location: 805 W. Park Street, Urbana
Holy Cross School has been educating young people in the CU community since 1912. The school is known for its academic excellence in a Christian value-centered atmosphere.
What Makes Your School Unique: Holy Cross School has a strong history of academic excellence, value-based education, strong fine arts and athletic programs, and a dedication to developing character in our students.
What the Director Says: Holy Cross School has a strong family atmosphere where teachers and parents work in partnership to create a successful learning experience for our students. Rosemary Costello, Co-Principal; Joe McDaniel, Co-Principal
Grades Served: Pre-school – 8
Location: 410 West White St, Champaign