The Children’s Learning Center at Moraine Valley Community College, which closed at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, has reopened and is now enrolling children ages 2 to 8.

Open to students, staff and community members, the center’s hours are 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Tuition rates are competitive, and Illinois Action for Children assistance is accepted.

“We are pleased to resume child care services on our campus,” said Rick Hendricks, vice president of Administrative Services. “Many of our students and employees are parents, and this center affords them the opportunity to have safe, reliable and educational child care while they’re in class or at work.”

The center closed in 2020 following the college’s move to completely online learning due to the pandemic. As the college phased in in-person learning in the following year, the demand for childcare services had not returned to pre-pandemic levels, making the center too cost prohibitive for the college to operate.

However, college leadership understood the value of accessible and affordable child care and began a search for a provider to lease the large center, which features four classrooms, a multipurpose space and fully enclosed outdoor play space. The search was successful, and following licensing by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, child care services with preschool curriculum have resumed.

Kirsten Ranneklev, director of the center, said she was eager to talk to stakeholders across the campus and community to learn about their previous experiences with the center and get suggestions for the future.

“Families have varying child care needs,” she said. “We wanted to be flexible in opening part-time and full-time programs so we can really meet the needs of the community. These are the most formative years of a child’s life so we’re really setting children up for success. We’re focusing on the child as a whole and developing their skills. The partnership we build with families helps bridge the gap between school and home.”

The center uses The Creative Curriculum, an early childhood education program that fulfills Illinois learning standards while also meeting the needs of individual learners.

“We will track a student’s development progress for their age and goals and conference with parents,” Ranneklev said. “We’ll be preparing them for success in kindergarten.”

In addition to a modern curriculum, the center will use an app to check-in and communicate with parents throughout the day. Plus, parents can expect a high level of safety and security as the center is monitored by campus police.

“Being on the community college campus gives us so many opportunities to get involved outside our physical space, too,” she said. “We can use the campus as a learning space and join in on all the activities happening on the campus.”

For more information about the Children’s Learning Center, visit


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