About Campus Children's Center

Weekly Rates for 2023-2024

Two Year Olds$303

Rates are subject to change.

Educational Philosophy

The educational philosophy at the Campus Children’s Center is child-centered and developmentally based. It is based on the knowledge that young children learn through their direct interactions with their environment and the people within it.

While children do go through specific stages of development, each child grows and learns at a pace that is individually specific. Age is not necessarily an accurate indicator of development. Infants and toddlers are typically in the stage that Jean Piaget described as Sensorimotor and the stages that Erik Erikson described as developing Trust (0 to 1-year-olds) and Autonomy (2- to 3-year-olds). Characteristics of these stages include learning through responsive, nurturing caregivers who provide positive interpersonal interactions, opportunities for the use of senses, reflexes, and learning through manipulating materials. In the development of autonomy, it is important that children have the characteristics listed above as well as opportunities that allow children simple choices, the setting of clear, consistent and reasonable limits, and acceptance of children’s fluctuations in their need for independence and dependence. Please see the Infant Toddler Handbook for additional information about how curriculum is planned based upon children’s development at these ages.

Preschool children are in the stage that Jean Piaget described as preoperational. Characteristics of this stage include egocentricity, concrete thinking and the explosion of language. The preoperational stage lasts until approximately age eight.

Children in the preoperational stage learn best through their own initiated activities rather than by direct instruction by an adult. Extensive research shows that young children learn through their play and through their active exploration of their environment. They construct their knowledge through the manipulation of concrete materials and the stimulation of their five senses. Children gain ownership of their learning in a child-centered environment through their choices. Our classrooms are arranged into learning centers to encourage the children to make choices. These centers include but not limited to art, science, writing, books, woodworking, sand and water, dramatic play, manipulatives, music, blocks and the outdoor learning environment.

The teacher’s role in a child-centered learning environment is that of a collaborative learner and a facilitator and extender of the children’s learning. The primary role of the teacher is to arrange the learning environment to encourage choices and to allow the children to work independently. In addition, the teacher interacts with the children while encouraging problem-solving and language experiences through the use of open-ended language and questions. The teacher also spends a great deal of time observing the children during their play and can then plan activities that extend the interests of the children. Such planning is flexible and short-term to meet the needs of the learning group.

The development of literacy is encouraged through a whole language approach where the children experience the various aspects of language through all sign systems such as music, science, math, art, drama, dance, reading and writing. We refrain from use of formal reading and writing instruction as these methods emphasize isolated skill development. Instead, we encourage and accept the child’s best attempt at reading and writing. In this way, we encourage the children to take risks in their learning knowing that their work will be accepted and valued.

The curriculum that results from this philosophy is open-ended and based on the children’s choices. The curriculum is dynamic in that it changes with the interests and needs of the children. A large part of the day is comprised of free choice time where the children explore the classroom and the materials within it.

Continuity of Care

The IU Campus Children’s Center practices “continuity of care” throughout its program. Continuity of care begins each August with a new infant classroom. The children remain with the same full-time caregivers and peers from infancy through age two. The summer that the children in the classroom reach age 3 is when they transition into the preschool program. Once in preschool, the children will stay with the same full-time teachers until they go to kindergarten. This practice is important as bonding with caregivers is essential for children to feel a sense of trust and competence; a vital step in optimal development and learning. Additionally, strong collaborative relationships develop between the caregivers/teachers and the families through continuity of care.

With continuity of care, the center enrolls children in the infant room based upon their date of birth. To be eligible for the August infant classroom, a child must be born between September of the previous year through August of the current enrollment year as children need to be 3 when they transition into preschool.

Please feel free to contact us directly with questions about continuity of care at CCC.


The original idea for the Center was conceived in the fringe benefits committee of the Bloomington Campus Staff Council in 1980. This proposal was presented to Vice President Gros Louis who turned it over to Marcia Donnerstein, Campus Affirmative Action Officer, for further study. Ms. Donnerstein, with the help of the Monroe County Community Coordinated Child Care Association and various university representatives, drafted a proposal for a model child care facility that would care for children of IU faculty and staff. This proposal, with minor revisions, was approved by President Ryan in July 1983.

With the closing of the Indiana University Nursery School in the spring of 1983, space became available for the Center. The Campus Children’s Center opened on August 23, 1983. It has grown from a small group of 3- and 4-year-olds to now serving 48 children, ages 2 through kindergarten. On October 1, 1996, CCC moved into the newly renovated Center in Building in E-7 at the University School Complex.

In June 2006, Indiana University approved financial support to increase quality infant/toddler care on the IUB campus. In August 2007, Campus Children’s Center added an infant/toddler program increasing the age span that is cared for to 6 weeks through 5 years.

Find research completed at our center at these links:

"Experiences of parents and professionals in well-established continuity of care infant toddler programs"

McMullen, Yun, Mihai & Kim, Early Education and Development (2015)


"Integrating infant sleep/wake state framework into the infant-caregiver interaction in the childcare context"

Kim & McMullen, Early Child Development and Care (2018)