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Early Childhood Center

The Early Childhood Center is a Nationally Accredited, ExceleRate GOLD, learning laboratory for JJC students enrolled in early childhood education programs. The center is open to JJC students, staff, faculty and the external community.

Welcome to the Early Childhood Center!


Joliet Junior College's licensed Early Childhood Center is offered to students and staff at the college to make teaching and learning more convenient:

  • We make it possible for students or employees with children ages 3 -5 years old to attend classes or work while incurring minimal child care expenses.
  • We maintain a program of learning experiences while providing care and protection in a safe, healthy and nurturing environment.
  • We provide guidance and encourage the social, emotional, physical and cognitive growth of the individual child.
  • We provide opportunities for social interactions during short tours and activities on campus.

Our Philosophy

The Early Childhood Center was established to provide young children with a safe and healthy environment where they are nurtured and cared for by responsible caregivers. It is open to members of the JJC community, students and staff. Childcare professionals take a developmental approach to the preschool curriculum and follow the guidelines developed by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).

State Licensed Full Day/Part Day Preschool Program

The Early Childhood Center is a Nationally AccreditedExceleRate GOLD, learning laboratory for JJC students enrolled in early childhood education programs. The center is state licensed and operated by childcare professionals, student workers, and volunteers interested in gaining experience in an early-education setting.

The center accepts children from the ages of three to five years old. The Early Childhood Center offers full-day and part-day options to better serve the needs of our student-parent population and offer flexibility in scheduling.

The Center's hours of operation for the Fall & Spring semesters are 7:30am-5:00pm, Monday - Friday. We follow the academic calendar for holidays, semester breaks and professional development. When the College is closed, the ECC will also be closed.

Fees for registration, deposits and tuition can be found on the Enrollment Information page. Students may use their PELL awards to pay for child care services. We also accept Child Care Assistance Programs (CCAP) through Child Care Resource and Referral agencies (CCR&R). Limited scholarships may be available through an application process when funding is available.

Request for Care Form

Early Childhood Center Observation Request Form

The Early Childhood Program

  • Development

    ECC takes a developmental approach to its preschool curriculum and follows guidelines established by the National Association of the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). The staff at the center supports and encourages children to actively participate in the learning process through both child-initiated and teacher-supported activities.

  • Encouragement

    The classrooms provide a language-rich environment and interest areas that promote decision-making, problem solving, and reasoning skills through prediction learning, observation, and experimentation. Children are continually encouraged to explore, discover, and formulate based on their construct of knowledge

  • Language & Literacy

    Offering a wide variety of learning materials and flexibility in daily classroom schedules, the center also offers children a thematic approach to their learning experiences. Our highly skilled staff expands on the children's knowledge utilizing the creative curriculum and themes based on meaningful topics and studies. 

    All classroom activities are designed to achieve long-range goals for children in all domains, and include language and literacy, math and science, social and emotional development, physical health and development, and creative arts.

  • Inclusion

    Joliet Junior College is committed to a policy of nondiscrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, disability, unfavorable military discharge, or any other unlawful basis in its admission, employment, educational programs, and activities.

    Inquires should be addressed to:
    Director of Human Resources
    Joliet Junior College
    1215 Houbolt Road
    Joliet, IL 60431-8938

Additional Information

  • Staff

    Beverly Cavanaugh 
    Manager, ECC 
    Phone: (815) 280-2280 
    E-mail: bcavanau@jjc.edu

    Hello, my name is Beverly Cavanaugh, and I am the manager for the Joliet Junior College Early Childhood Center. I have been with JJC since 1996 and along with my position as manager for the Early Childhood Center I have also taught in the Fine Arts department (Speech 101), General Student Development (GSD 100) and with Social and Behavioral Sciences (CDev 210, Child, Family & Community). I am looking forward to seeing familiar faces and meeting new students and families as the semester continues. I am a native of Joliet I have been married to my wonderful husband, Terry, for 30 years. We have five amazing children, all of whom have attended JJC at one time or another. This fall we will welcome our fourth grandchild. We are blessed to have our family close by in the Joliet area and we get to see our grandchildren on a regular basis. Spending time with our grandchildren is one of my favorite ways to spend the weekends. I am also strongly invested in the Joliet community as well as the JJC community. I am an active member of the Spirit Committee for JJC faculty and staff, I have served as a member of the strategic planning committee, the marketing committee. I am past Vice President of the Joliet Area Association for the Education of Young Children (JAAEYC); I have worked as a Court Appointed Special Advocate and Guardian ad litem (CASA/GAL) for Will County as an advocate for abused and neglected children. I am also a member of the AOK Early Childhood Network and I am also an active partner of the JTHS Academy Network Team.

    In addition, I have been the club advisor for S.P.R.I.T.E. Club (Student-Parents Resolving Issues and Transcending in Education) since 2001. SPRITE club is a student club on campus that promotes family friendly events and collaborates with the Early Childhood Center to provide entertainment, training and a wide variety of supports to the Early Childhood Center staff and families. I have also been privileged to be a presenter at a number of local and state wide conferences on children and child care issues including the Share A Vision conference sponsored by the Illinois State Board of Education and the Illinois Migrant Council conference just this past summer. I am a life-long learner and I am currently working on a second Masters degree in Early Childhood Administration from National Louis University. I will complete my level III Illinois Directors Credential this fall.

    I am very excited about the new semester and the dynamic teaching team we have here in the Early Childhood Center. I look forward to meeting each of you personally as we work as a team to provide the highest quality of care and early education for your children. I would encourage you to become actively involved in one of our many parent volunteer opportunities as well as actively participating in the Early Childhood Center SPRITE club.

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