"This center has a long history of dedicated staff providing appropriate learning opportunities in a warm, caring environment. (It's) a great program for your child.  Barb, "The Puppet Lady"

Facility Photos



History Timeline

1970 - Program started by two Volunteers In Service To America (VISTA) in St Peter’s Lutheran Church basement
1974 - Main part of current building built through city block grant matching funds, several grants, and community support in response to church closing and program growth
1984 - Annex built to accommodate program expansion
2007 - Program on verge of closing due to financial struggles and supervisory transitions---community rallied support and preserved program
2008 - Local flooding caused Center to close one week and enrollment reduced from 53 to 39
2009-2010 - Moving forward through grants, great community support, and grit!
August 2010 - celebrated 40th anniversary and service to thousands of children…..and thousands more to come!

Renovation of 37 year old building in process ongoing from 2010---focus to make it sustainable another 40 years, "green," and more energy efficient!

Where We Are Today
  • Provide services for 64 children ages 18 months through 11 years of multi-cultural, multi-ability levels (licensed for 64 on premises)
  • Service for multiple generations of families
  • An ongoing  family source as a preschool, child care and community resource & referral
  • 63% of children served eligible for subsidization (scholarships through United Way and Cedar Valley Promise, enrollment through Department of Human Services, Promise Jobs, etc.)
  • Nurturing, consistent staff
  • Multiple community collaborations and support for services (screenings, volunteers, program additions---CCR&R, DHS, AEA-267, United Way, Cedar Valley Promise, First Children’s Finance, etc.)
  • Program special activities through P.E.T.-P.A.L.S., Traveling Tales,  Wartburg music therapy program, Pillars of Character puppet shows, the  Waste Track science program, and guest visitors
  • Extensive volunteer collaborations---John Deere, Board, families, local churches, Boy Scouts Eagle project, UNI students
  • Excellent outdoor learning environment (Nature Explorer Certified Classroom).

Where We Are Going
  • Expansion of community collaborations
  • Additional staff training
  • New programming in science, art, and Spanish

What We Need
  • Scholarship resources
  • Resources for building renovation
  • Community involvement

Find out how you can help us achieve our goals on our Fundraising page.

Why It's Important
  • Provides child care and preschool services for families as they go to school or work
  • Supports recent brain research in providing quality learning experiences for young children
  • Provides resource and referral information
  • Impacts local economy through provision of stable workforce with consistent, reliable child care as well as economic growth as new families consider the Cedar Valley as home