Our Mission

Our mission is to ensure that each student develops the academic, social, and emotional skills needed to succeed in school and a diverse society.

To fulfill our mission, the Early Childhood Center provides an individualized, developmentally appropriate, multi-modal approach to learning with an emphasis on language, communication, and emergent literacy skills.

Fundamental to our mission are collaborative decision-making, a competent and dedicated staff, and parents and community as partners in a child- friendly, nurturing environment.

Special Features

  • "Blended" classes that include both general and special education students
  • Curriculum aligned with Illinois Early Learning and Development Standards
  • School-wide Title I Program
  • Family involvement events
    • Fall and Spring Festivals
    • Literacy Lunches
  • Volunteer Book Mentor program
  • America Reads tutors
  • Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS)
  • English as a Second Language (ESL) support
  • Spanish - English Transitional Bilingual Education Program
  • Technology in every classroom

Support Programs

All Pre-K teachers are dually certified in early childhood and special education. Children with disabilities are fully included in all classrooms. Special education services are determined by a child's Individualized Education Plan (IEP). The support staff includes a Speech and Language Therapist, Social Worker, Psychologist, Occupational Therapist, Physical Therapist, English as a Second Language Teacher, Literacy Interventionists, and Parent Coordinator.


  • Gold Circle of Quality in ExceleRate Illinois, Quality Rating System for Early Learning Programs
  • Gold Level Recipient for School-Wide PBIS Implementation
  • Award of Excellence for the Inclusion of Children with Special Needs

Our History

The Champaign Schools Pre-kindergarten Program was first funded by the Illinois State Board of Education in 1985 and was formerly located at the old Marquette School. The Champaign Early Childhood Center was created in 2003 by renovating the old Sunbeam Bakery building. The architects designed an accessible building that highlights the original features of the bakery. In addition to ten Pre-K classrooms, the building houses five Head Start/Early Head Start classrooms and CASE Audiology.