Children's Center

About the Children's Center

The Children's Center offers early childhood education and care for children from ages 3 months up to 6 years old year round and full day.
Our program's philosophy is that children learn through hands on inquiry based open ended activities. . Find out about our classrooms, hours, rates, philosophy, accreditation and calendar below. Get information on registering your child »


The Children's Center has five classrooms:

Our infant classroom is the Hummingbird room and has children 12 weeks and up.

Our toddler classroom is the Robin room and has children 12 months and up.

Our young preschool classroom is the Mallard room and has children 24 months and up. 

Our preschool classroom is the Owl room and has children 30 months and up. 

Our 4K calssroom is the Crane room and has children 48 months and up. 


The Children's Center provides care and education for our youngest warhawks Monday through Friday from 7:30 AM to 5:30 PM.

Contact the Children's Center Office for 2022 - 2023 Current Rates for Student, Faculty/Staff and Community Rates!

UW-Whitewater Children’s Center 2022-2023 Calendar
REVISED 8/11/22
Summer 2022 - 12 weeks
Summer Session (ONE SESSION ONLY) Monday, May 16 to Friday, August 12
CLOSED for Memorial Day Monday, May 30
August INTERIM - 2 weeks Monday, August 15-Friday, August 26
CLOSED for Staff training and orientation Monday, August 29 & Tuesday, August 30
CLOSED to prepare for Fall Semester August 31 & September 1
FAMILY OPEN HOUSE / Supply Drop-off Thursday, September 1 3:00-6:00
CLOSED for Staff Professional Development September 2
Fall 2022 – 16 weeks September 6 - December 22
CLOSED for Labor Day Monday, September 5
CLOSED for Staff Development Friday, September 30
Family/Teacher Conferences Wednesday, November 16 (2:00-6:30)
Family/Teacher Conferences Thursday, November 17 (2:00-6:30)
Winterim and Spring 2022 Registration due Friday, November 18
CLOSED to observe Thanksgiving Thursday, November 24 & Friday, November 25
CLOSED for Winter Break Friday, December 23 – Monday, January 2
WINTERIM 2023 – 3 weeks Tuesday, January 3 to Friday, January 20
CLOSED for MLK Jr. Day Monday, January 16
Spring 2023 – 15 weeks January 23 – May 12
Family/Teacher Conferences Wednesday, March 22 (2:00-6:30p.m.)
Family/Teacher Conferences Thursday, March 23 (2:00-6:30p.m.)
CLOSED Friday, March 24
SPRING BREAK INTERIM Monday, March 27- Friday, March, 31
CLOSED for the UWW ECE Conference Friday, April 7
Summer 2022, Fall 2022 registration due Friday, April 14
Last Day of Spring semester Friday, May 12
Summer 2023 – 12 weeks Monday, May 15 – Friday, August 11

CLOSED for Memorial Day Monday, May 29

CLOSED for Summer Break July 3 – 7

The Children's Center Philosophy

The philosophy at the Children's Center is that children are capable, confident, unique individuals with rights.

We also feel that learning happens for children when children feel safe and secure in their environment both physically and emotionally. The base of our curriculum is in Social and Emotional Development. By involving the children in activities that have meaning and relate to their everyday world, our children feel successful. We base our assessment of children and plan our activities by focusing on individual strengths and interests. The number of adults to children at the center offers comfort and one-on-one attention and interaction. There is always an adult to listen to, play with, read a story, or hold and comfort a child. We work to inspire the children to become empathetic to the needs of others, critical thinkers, problem solvers, and active members of their communities. We encourage the children to work out problems, take chances, try new things, become involved, and experiment. We also support the children in their ability to trust themselves while they meet the challenges of being part of a group each day. 

We believe that relationships and bonds with caregivers are highly critical to both the academic and social/emotional development of young children.  In order to enhance these relationships, we have implemented a Looping model, this means that lead teachers move with the children as they "age up" into the next classroom level.  This continuity of care results in multiple benefits for both children and families.

We do not teach academics in a way that is familiar to most people. Instead, we hope to plant the seeds of wonder so that when the children are ready to learn academic skills, they will have the desire. Through positive experiences, in which the children are able to feel success, the children will later recall these positive feelings and be able to relate them to academic skills when their minds and bodies are ready. We hope to be a part of nurturing young, inquisitive minds that question rather than trying to teach rote memorization skills to children too young to understand the meaning of such an activity.

What is an accredited center?

The Children's Center is a state-licensed program that is also accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children. The Children's Center has been accredited since 1989. We are proud to have been reaccredited by NAEYC system in September 2012 for the seventh time. Accreditation is a "voluntary, comprehensive process of internal self-study, with invited external professional review to verify compliance with the Academy's Criteria for High-Quality Early Childhood Programs, and a compliance with the criteria" (NAYEC, 1991). The standards for accreditation are more difficult to achieve than the standards for state licensing. Ratios of teachers to children must be lower, group size smaller, educational level of teachers higher, and there is a much greater emphasis on the interactions between the staff, parents, and the children. If parents are interested in reviewing the state standards of the criteria for accreditation, please stop in the office to peruse the materials.

Who do we serve?

The UW-Whitewater Children's Center is a Division of Student Affairs.  Our first priority is to provide care to children of university students.  If space is available beyond serving student families, we also open enrollment to faculty and staff families, as well as the greater Whitewater community.  Children (Infants 12 weeks through 3 years old) must be enrolled a minimum of two days a week.  Children who are dually enrolled with the Children's Center and the Whitewater Unified School District for the 4K program have a 4 day per week minimum requirement.  We do offer drop-in care for enrolled children based upon space and staffing.  

Wisconsin Model Early Learning Standards: Guiding Principles

The Wisconsin Model Early Learning Standards Steering Committee has established the following Guiding Principles to inform the development and application of the Wisconsin Model Early Learning Standards in Wisconsin. These guiding principles reflect the knowledge base in scientific research, our values, and our commitment to young children and families.  Taken from:

Development and learning begins at birth, for all children and in all settings. The Wisconsin Model Early Learning Standards support practices that promote development and protect young children from the harm that results from inappropriate expectations. In this, they are aligned with ethical principles of the early childhood profession. 

Beginning at birth, a child forms relationships with adults who will guide their learning and development. Especially during the earliest years of a child's life from birth to age 3, a child's growth and development is shaped within the context of those relationships. Positive relationships are essential for the development of personal responsibility, capacity for self-regulation, for constructive interactions with others, and for fostering academic functioning and mastery. Warm, sensitive, and responsive interactions help children develop a secure, positive sense of self and encourage them to respect and cooperate with others. 

Developmental domains are highly interrelated. The Wisconsin Model Early Learning Standards reflect the interconnectedness of the domains of children's development: social and emotional development, approaches to learning, language development and communication, health and physical development, and cognition and general knowledge. 

The Wisconsin Model Early Learning Standards are based on research about the processes and sequences of young children's learning and development, and the conditions under which children develop to their fullest potential. 

The Wisconsin Model Early Learning Standards recognize that there are individual rates of development and learning across any age range. 

The Wisconsin Model Early Learning Standards acknowledge that children's development and learning opportunities reflect the cultural and linguistic diversity of children, families and environments.

The Wisconsin Model Early Learning Standards support the development of optimal learning experiences that can be adapted for individual developmental patterns.

The Wisconsin Model Early Learning Standards reflect the belief that children should be provided with opportunities to explore and apply new skills through child-initiated and teacher-initiated activities, and through interactions with peers, adults and materials. Teachers and families can best guide learning by providing these opportunities in natural, authentic contexts. Positive relationships help children gain the benefits of instructional experiences and resources. 

Families, communities and schools all have significant roles to play in terms of what opportunities are available to children, and how well a child is able to take advantage of those learning opportunities. Children who see themselves as highly valued are more likely to feel secure, thrive physically, get along with others, learn well, and feel part of a community.