About

About Hoosier Courts Nursery School

Mission Statement

Hoosier Courts Nursery School (HCNS) provides child-centered, developmentally appropriate care for the preschool aged children of Indiana University students, faculty and staff as well as the local community in an enriching, diverse, home like environment. HCNS supports each child’s development by welcoming the participation of his or her family in the classroom and in other school activities.

Weekly Rates for 2019-2020

3-5 Year Olds$217

Rates are expected to increase July 1, 2020 and will be posted as soon as they are released. Rate is for full time only.

Educational Philosophy

We believe that young children learn best through play and interaction with their environment. At Hoosier Courts the projects and activities that our children do in the classroom are developed directly from the needs, interests, and concerns of the children themselves. Through this curriculum we hope to provide our children with experiences that will help them to learn to direct their own actions, discipline themselves, and accept responsibility for their deeds.

Celebrating 70+ Years

Hoosier Courts Nursery, 1949 Hoosier Courts Nursery, 1949
[photo courtesy IU Archives]

World War II was the first war after which veterans could go to college for free on the G.I. Bill. Consequently—after the war—Indiana University, similarly to public universities all over the country, was suddenly flooded with non-traditional, older students—many of whom were married and had young children. The university quickly needed to find housing for these students, so temporary Quonset huts were set up. The veteran students moved into these Quonset huts and formed a tight-knit community. The neighborhood was known as ‘Hoosier Courts’. Because there were so many small children, the residents of Hoosier Courts decided they would like to start a nursery school. They approached Herman Wells, who gave them permission for this venture as well as an old, abandoned barn on the property to use for the school. These families worked together to turn the barn into a nursery school and hire their first director/teacher. On February 14, 1948, Hoosier Courts Nursery School opened its doors for the first time and has been offering rich play-based programming for young children ever since.

Continuity of Care

Continuity of Care is practiced within Campus View Child Care Center, meaning teachers and children remain together throughout a child’s experience in our program. This practice supports the formation of close, nurturing relationships between caregivers, young children, and their families.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Hoosier Courts close for snow days?

The short answer is that as long as Indiana University Bloomington is open, we are open.

Does Hoosier Courts only enroll families affiliated with Indiana University?

Because Hoosier Courts is part of the university, first priority is given to the children of Indiana University students, faculty, and staff. However, when our waiting list of IU affiliated families is exhausted, we open up enrollment to the outside community. Each year we have at least a couple of families who have no connection to the university.

What if my child doesn't know any English?

Many of the children enrolled at Hoosier Courts come from countries other than the U.S. and do not know any English when they start. Our teachers have vast experience working with children who know no English. They will be patient and understanding. When they speak to your child, they will use gestures, facial expressions, context, and other non-verbal cues along with their words to help her to understand. Fortunately, young children learn a second language much more quickly and easily than do adults. Before long, your child will be speaking English fluently.

Where does my tuition money go?

Almost 80% of our budgeted expenses each year are allocated to cover salaries, hourly wages, and benefits for our staff. We know that one of the most reliable indicators of quality in early childhood programs is a low teacher to child ratio. Minimum state licensing standards in Indiana require only two adults in a classroom with 20 preschool children. Most programs in Bloomington, Indiana, adhere to this ratio. At Hoosier Courts, however, we are committed to doing better than minimum standards require. Each day there are three or four adults in each of the three classrooms of 20 children. There are two co-teachers, each of whom has at least a bachelor's degree in early childhood education or a related field. In addition, there is an assistant teacher, usually an Indiana University student, who works under the direct supervision of the teachers and the director and who receives on-going training in topics that relate to early childhood education and development.

Having so many adults in the classroom allows us to more consistently give children individual attention. For example, there is almost always an adult available to sit down and read stories to individuals or small groups. We also have the luxury of stationing some adults indoors and others outdoors so that children can move freely between the classroom and playground.

History

As military personnel returned after World War II, Indiana University saw a great influx of new students enrolling in college on the new G.I. Bill. Older than the traditional students of the past with different needs, these students brought families and spouses with them. To meet these housing needs, Indiana University erected a series of temporary quarters north of Tenth Street between Union Street and Jordan Avenue. This complex of family student housing was known as Hoosier Court Apartments.

The residents of Hoosier Court Apartments soon felt the need for a nursery school. Following negotiations, the university provided residents with materials to renovate an unused farm building on the property if residents provided the labor. The residents of Hoosier Courts formed the Hoosier Courts Cooperative Nursery Association—drafting by-laws, registering children for the nursery school, and hiring the first teacher-director. Finally, in 1948, Hoosier Courts Cooperative Nursery School opened its doors. From that day forward, Hoosier Courts Nursery School has been a place where parents have been directly involved in every aspect of the programming.

Today, Hoosier Courts Nursery School is housed in a facility (built in 1960) designed specifically for children. The facility houses three spacious classrooms—each with a playground. A renovation of Hoosier Courts was completed in the spring semester of 2000. 

Indiana University provides and maintains the building for Hoosier Courts Nursery School, which also houses Hoosier Court Apartments, and provides reimbursements towards some of the costs of supporting the professional staff. However, the day-to-day expenses—such as the bulk of staff salaries and the cost of consumable supplies—are supported entirely through tuition charged to Hoosier Courts parents.

As in the past, the Hoosier Courts Nursery School staff provides excellent child-centered and developmentally-appropriate care and education to the preschool-aged children of IU faculty, staff, and students. Hoosier Courts Nursery staff form strong partnerships with families to ensure the best possible experience for each child in the program.