Northeastern Illinois University opened its first child care center as an experimental program in the basement of Chicago's North Park Covenant Church at 5250 N. Christina Ave. in February of 1972. The experiment turned out to be a success, and after relocating several times the Child Care Center settled into its current location on the south end of the Main Campus in August 1988.

Despite the benefits of affiliations with Northeastern, the Center is self-supporting and does not receive University or state funding. The operating guidelines and procedures of the Center reflect the policies governing the University and are strictly enforced.

The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) has accredited and licensed the Center since 1980.


The director supervises the Center with assistance from child development supervisors assigned to each room. In addition, the director works with its advisory board. This board is made up of parents and members of the University representing the Goodwin College of Education and the administrative areas.

COVID-19 Policies and Procedures 

Read more information on our COVID-19 Policies and Procedures.


The Center provides half-day and full-day educational programs that serve children aged 15 months to Pre-K. A maximum of 87 children can be accommodated at any one time at the Center. For this reason, it is imperative that your child arrives and departs during the hours arranged by you and the Center. Children may attend either half or full days depending on their age.


In addition to the staff, the University Department of Teacher Education’s Early Childhood Education Program enhances our program by assigning clinical experience volunteers and student teachers to the Center. These individuals are early childhood education majors working toward the completion of their degrees. All activities presented in the classrooms are approved by our teachers.


7:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday

The Child Care Center offers

  • Full-day: 7:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.
  • Half-day: 7:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

The Center is closed when the University is closed on the following observed holidays:

  • Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birthday
  • Abraham Lincoln’s Birthday
  • Memorial Day
  • Juneteenth Day
  • Independence Day
  • Teacher In-Service Days (Third week in August)
  • Labor Day
  • Thanksgiving Day and Friday after Thanksgiving
  • Christmas Eve through New Year’s Day

Contact Us

Office phone: (773) 442-4540 

Director: Christina Hidaka


Northeastern Illinois University
Childcare Center (Building CH)
5500 North St. Louis Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60625-4699

The Center is located near the Foster Avenue entrance, just west of the Physical Education Complex. (See map for reference)