Children's Center

About the Children's Center

The Children's Center offers full-day, year-round, childcare for children from ages 3 months up to 6 years. Find out about our classrooms, hours, rates, philosophy, accreditation and calendar below. Get information on registering your child »


Hummingbird Room

- 12 weeks and up
- 8 maximum in the group
- 1 teacher to 3 children ratio. 

I am new. I'm a bundle of potential and need. I'm a consumer of information: I watch, listen, touch, taste, and smell. I'm a busy brain driven to learn. I'm a scientist and problem solver. I'm hope and joy personified.

Robin Room

- 12 months and up
- 8 maximum in the group
- 1 teacher to 3 children ratio. 

I'm curious, observant, energetic, determined, focused, and sometimes stubborn scientist. I'm a natural-born learning-all-the-stuff... an insatiable consumer of sensory experiences. I'm a highly evolved and very capable future adult, eager to engage the world.

Mallard Room

- 24 months and up
- 12 maximum in the group
- 1 teacher to 6 children ratio. 

I am 2. I am constantly learning! Sometimes I need encouragement and help while I navigate through the different ways of communicating, sharing, and playing with others. Please remember to be patient and gentle with me as I work through this learning process and my own big emotions.

Owl Room

- 30 months and up
- 16 maximum in the group
- 1 teacher to 6 children ratio. 

I am 3. I am not built to sit still, keep my hands to myself, take turns, be patient, stand in line, or keep quiet. I need motivation, I need adventure, and I need to engage the world with my whole body. Let me play!

4K Crane

- 48 months and up
- 20 maximum in the group
- 1 teacher to 8 children ratio. 

I'm a smooth talking, agile, and observant seeker of adventure. I'm kind of a know-it-all. I have more questions in me than you have answers. I'm perceptive enough to sense this can frustrate you, but please don't discount my inquisitiveness.


Open Monday-Friday 7:30 AM-5:30 PM

2020-2021 Weekly Rates

Classrooms 2 Days
3 Days 4 Days Full Week
Faculty/Staff & Community Families Student
Faculty/Staff & Community Families Student
Faculty/Staff & Community Families Student
Faculty/Staff & Community Families
Hummingbird / Robin Room $100 $126 $150 $189 $200 $252 $237 (5% discount) $297 (5% discount)
Mallard / Owl Room (Multiage Preschool) $72 $98 $108 $147 $144 $196 $171 (5% discount) $229 (5% discount)
Crane Room
(4K Enrollment w/ Whitewater Unified
School District Required)

N/A N/A N/A N/A $100 $144 $125 $180

*Note: children who are 48 months or older and not dually enrolled with Whitewater Unified School District for 4K will pay Multiage preschool rates.

Other Fees & Discounts

  • Withdrawal or Schedule Change where the schedule is decreased - $30.00 per day dropped and two weeks of tuition. 2 week notification of withdrawal or schedule change is required in writing. 
  • Late Payment - 5% of remaining bill. Applied to bill after second installment payment is missed. If third installment payment is missed, enrollment will be terminated and the family will be liable for all withdrawal fees. 
  • Late Pick Up - $1.00 per minute per child. Please note, more than three late pickups within a semester can result in the disenrollment of a family. 
  • Late Drop Off or No Notification of Absence - $10.00 per child, per occurrence. (We ask for all children in all rooms to be dropped off no later than 9:30am or to notify the office by 9:30am of their arrival time or absence.)
  • Discounts 
    • Five Day Full Week Enrollment for all classes but dual enrolled 4K (all families): 5% 
    • Full Fall & Spring Full Semester Payment (Faculty, Staff Community Families only): 2% 
    • Multiple Sibling Discount: 10% discount on the lower tuition(s) 

Drop in Care and Interim Care Rates

*Applies to families with enrolled students only

  • Hummingbird / Robin Room: $63.00 per day 
  • Mallard / Owl / Crane Room: $48.00 per day

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.

UW-Whitewater Children’s Center 2020-2021 Calendar

Summer 2020 – 11 weeks

CLOSED for Memorial Day                                                 Monday, May 25

Summer Session A                                                                Tuesday, May 26 to Friday, June 26

CLOSED                                                                                  June 29-July 3

Summer Session B                                                                Monday, July 6 to August 14

CLOSED to prepare for Fall Semester                              Monday, August 17- Tuesday, August 18

August INTERIM                                                           Wednesday, August 19 to Friday, August 28

Staff training and orientation                                             Monday August 31 & Tuesday, September 1

Fall Family Open House                                                      Tuesday, September 1 4:00-6:00                                                                                             

Fall 2020 – 17 weeks                                                    Wed., September 2 to Wed., December 23

(families are billed for 16)

CLOSED for Labor Day                                                        Monday, September 7

CLOSED for Staff Development                                         Friday, October 2

Family/Teacher Conferences                                              Wednesday, November 18 (2:00-6:30)

Family/Teacher Conferences                                              Thursday, November 19 (2:00-6:30)

Winterim and Spring 2021 Registration due      Friday, November 20                   

CLOSED for Thanksgiving                                                  Thursday, November 26

CLOSED                                                                                  Friday, November 27

CLOSED for Winter Break                                                  Thursday, December 24 - Friday, January 1

WINTERIM 2020                                                          Monday, January 4 to Friday, January 15

CLOSED for MLK Day                                                         Monday, January 18

Spring 2021 – 16 weeks                                              January 19 – May 14

Family/Teacher Conferences                                             Monday, March 15 (2:00-6:30p.m.)

Family/Teacher Conferences                                            Tuesday, March 16 (2:00-6:30p.m.)

CLOSED                                                                                 Friday, March 19

SPRING BREAK INTERIM                                       Monday, March 22-26

CLOSED for the UWW ECE Conference                         Friday, April 9

May Interim 2021, Summer 2021, Fall 2021 Registrations Due     Friday, April 16

Last Day of Spring semester                                               Friday, May 14

May INTERIM                                                                   Monday, May 17 – Friday, May 21