University Children's Center

  • Leigh Merkey, Director
  • 446 E Ontario Street
  • Suite 150
  • Chicago, IL, 60611
  • Ph: (312) 867-7056
  • Fax: (312) 867-7058
  • Ages: 6 weeks to 5 years
  • Hours: 6:30am to 6:30pm, Monday - Friday
Join us for our August 12th Outdoor Social
New friends, fun and plenty of sun! That’s what you can expect at our August 12th Outdoor Social. We’ll have lots of activities for the family, plus delicious and healthy treats. Meet our fantastic teachers and find out more about our quality care and early childhood education programs. Hopscotch, anyone?

Welcome! Meet the Team »

Welcome to University Children’s Center located in the heart of downtown Chicago! We are very excited to meet with you and your family.
UCC uses an educational program which provides unlimited opportunities for the development of the whole child. We offer a unique curriculum for every age level, centered around developmentally appropriate and fun activities that encourage children to develop physically, intellectually, emotionally, and socially. The center provides priority care for children of Northwestern University faculty, staff and students, Northwestern Medical Faculty Foundation employees, The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, and The American Association of Advertising Agencies. University Children's Center is also proud to accept families from the surrounding community.

- Leigh Merkey, Center Director

Business Partner Message

University Children's Center has partnered with Northwestern University and The American Association of Advertising Agencies to ensure priority access to their employees and students.

Programs Offered

  • Infant Programs (6 weeks-1 year)

    Infant Programs (6 Weeks-1 Year)

    When your infant is in our care, we are committed to providing a nurturing and caring environment that meets your needs and the needs of your child. As your infant grows and changes – which happens on a daily basis at this stage – we make changes, too, so development and learning unfolds naturally.

  • Toddler Programs (1-2 years)

    Toddler Programs (1-2 Years)

    Toddlers are explorers on the road to learning. They walk all over, eat table food and often take just one nap a day. In a safe and nurturing environment, your little adventurer will find his voice, make new friends and develop confidence in newfound abilities.

  • Discovery Preschool Programs (2-3 years)

    Discovery Preschool Programs (2-3 Years)

    Let us help your 2-year-old develop her independence and confidence in a setting that encourages a sense of community. We plan your child's activities based on a program grounded in early childhood fundamentals. Your young learner will increase her language ability, practice early counting skills and learn to cooperate with friends through group activities.

  • Preschool Programs (3-4 years)

    Preschool Programs (3-4 Years)

    Preschool kids are in the process of becoming confident learners. We take their confidence to the next level with hands-on education. Your 3- to 4-year-old child is ready for structured learning activities that touch on early literacy, math, science and social studies. Our program balances these subjects with opportunities for independent exploration – and a healthy dose of running, jumping and dancing.

  • Prekindergarten Programs (4-5 years)

    Prekindergarten Programs (4-5 Years)

    With our expert educators guiding the way, your child will feel confident taking the big step into the kindergarten classroom. With lower student-to-teacher ratios, your child will get more individualized attention. Our comprehensive, full-day kindergarten program encompasses reading, language, math, science, arts and physical fitness to keep your child excited about school. Plus, our program is aligned with local and state elementary school standards, so your child will be prepared to confidently enter first grade.

  • Summer Programs (preschool, prekindergarten, and school-age)

    Summer Programs

    Twelve fun and unique weeks of camp, all summer long! From May through August, KinderCare offers awesome camps for pre-school, pre-k, and school-age kids. It's a great place to bring friends, and to meet new ones! We offer flexible scheduling options to meet the needs of busy families like yours, so join us for all 12 weeks or as many weeks as you like.

Special Features

  • Spring Break Camp
  • Winter Break Camp

Learning Adventures &
Enrichment Programs

  • Cooking

    Cooking Adventures

    Stir up your child's culinary imagination with fun, developmentally appropriate cooking experiences. The Cooking Adventures program introduces young chefs to recipes, ingredients, cooking vocabulary and the importance of a healthy diet. The curriculum includes lessons on picnics, pizza and proper nutrition.

  • Spanish

    Spanish Adventures

    Learning a new language at a young age builds a child's brain power, increases confidence and contributes to long-term academic success. We teach language using age-appropriate methods, such as music, games and children's Spanish literature. Your child will have multiple opportunities to hear, practice and see the Spanish language.

  • Math

    Math Adventures

    Math Adventures teaches concepts such as geometry, numbers, measurement, and probability. Your child will learn about length, height and weight, as well as shapes and solids. Math is everywhere, and giving your child every advantage now will add up to success later in life.

  • Music

    Music Adventures

    Ongoing research proves that early exposure to music helps children think, reason and create. Your child will laugh and learn about rhythm, vocal melodies, and a variety of musical genres and instruments. Note by note, he may identify an early passion for music and will gain confidence to perform well in all aspects of his young life.

  • Phonics & Reading

    Phonics & Reading Adventures

    Set your child up for success with literacy through phonics, the study of letters and sounds. We engage your child with customized books, games and activity cards to help him master the basics of vowels and blending syllables, giving him confidence and an even greater command of the language.

  • Science Adventures

Holidays Observed & Professional Development Days

We are closed on New Year's Day, Presidents' Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Thanksgiving Day, the day after Thanksgiving, and  Christmas Day.

Accreditation

  • We are very proud to say we are accredited through NAEYC! For more information about the NAEYC accreditation please visit, www.naeyc.org

  • The Eco-Healthy Child Care program assesses 30 critical care factors including biodegradable, non-toxic cleaning products, non-toxic art supplies, PVC-free toys and more. To learn more go to: www.ecohealthychildcare.org

Center Location

University Children's Center

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