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Early Learning Center

Welcome to Lower Columbia College's Early Learning Center (ELC), a licensed, full-service child care center for children ages one months to kindergarten entry. Services are open to LCC students. employees, and community members. We look forward to partnering with you to meet the needs of your child and family.

Early Learning Center boy playing

Early Learning Center Information

Full Service Child Care

The Early Learning Center is a full-service child care program that provides high-quality, full-time early learning opportunities. We accept children ages 4 weeks through kindergarten entry. The center is conveniently located on the LCC campus adjacent to the 20th Avenue parking lot. The center provides physical, cognitive, social and emotional and language development experiences for children one month through Kindergarten entry. The center is open to children regardless of race, creed, color, national origin, or handicap

Mission Statement

The mission of the Early Learning Center is to provide individualized education options designed to strengthen the family unit. We offer safe, quality on-campus child care and preschool learning opportunities for the children of LCC students, employees, and community members, in an atmosphere that invites adults and children to discover, explore, and celebrate the marvelous beings they are.

The Early Learning Center staff is a professional team dedicated to supporting the whole family. Though our primary focus is the well being of the children entrusted in our care, we also realize that the well being of the parent is essential to achieving that goal. We make every effort to facilitate a positive experience for you and your child during your enrollment. Our program's design reflects the Mission Statement of Lower Columbia College.

More information regarding program policies available in the Parent Handbook - PDF document opens in new window.

The Early Learning Staff

The Early Learning staff transforms the traditional classroom learning concept into child-centered learning environments that are age and developmentally appropriate for every learner. All Lead Teachers are degreed Early Childhood professionals who believe that positive early education experiences enhance children's innate ability to explore, discover and practice their distinct learning styles. Each staff member brings with them a joy for children, a commitment to understand each child's needs and abilities and a desire to facilitate the learning process.

Waitlist Application and Enrollment Forms


To participate in the program please fill out a Waiting List Application - Word document automatically downloads, and email, mail or bring to the ELC Office in person.

Enrollment Forms

All Early Learning Center enrollment forms must be completed before the child attends. These forms include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Registration form, including child's health history (Completed annually).
  • Emergency contact and release information.
  • Data Collection Form
  • WaKIDS Inventory
  • A complete record of immunizations
  • Written consent for child to receive emergency medical care (on the reg. form).
  • Signed Field Trip permission to photograph form
  • Child's schedule of days and times they will be in attendance.
  • DSHS information release
  • USDA application
  • Signed Parent Orientation

Fees and Payments

Childcare fees are based on full and half-day rates and the quarterly total is determined by the number of days per quarter the child is enrolled.

  • Half-day rate is for up to five hours of care
  • Minimum attendance:  3 full days or 4 half-days or 2 full days and 2 half-days
  • Must select either non-academic or academic calendar (no partial quarters)
  • A schedule must be followed. You pay for all the days you want available to your child.

Childcare fees are calculated quarterly on a per day basis and divided into 3 equal payments. All payments are due by the first business day of each month. Failure to make payments on time will result in termination of services.

Student, Staff & Faculty Rate

  • Infant (1-11 months) Full Day = $42.00, Half-Day = $28.00
  • Wobblers/Toddlers (12-29 months) Full Day = $36.00, Half-Day = $22.00
  • Preschool/K (30 months-Kindergarten Entry) Full Day = 32.00, Half-Day = $20.00

Community Rate

  • Infant (1-11 months) Full Day = $46.00 Half Day = $31.00
  • Wobblers/Toddlers (12-29 months) Full Day = 40.00, Half Day = $25.00
  • Preschool/K (30 months-Kindergarten Entry) Full Day = $35.00, Half Day = $22.00

Additional Fees:

  • Annual Registration fee:  $50.00 per family
  • Schedule Change fee:  2 free per quarter, then $75.00 per change
  • The full day rate covers 10 hours of care.  Extended hours will accrue an additional half-day rate and require written documentation in accordance with WAC 170-295-2020.
Rates and fees are effective September 1, 2018 through June 30, 2019.

Financial Assistance

DSHS Working Connections payments accepted. Students receiving state-paid childcare assistance must notify the ELC office. A signed and completed Student Release and Payment Agreement Responsibility form is required. DSHS Provider Information forms can be obtained from the ELC office.

Note: Parents' quarterly class and work schedules must be completed and approved before children are enrolled in the Early Learning Center. Priority placement is given to parents needing more than four hours per day and five days per week enrollment.

More information regarding fees, payments and refund policy available in the Parent Handbook - PDF document opens in new window.

Hours of Operation


  • Monday - Friday: 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 pm during Lower Columbia College's academic year.
  • Monday - Thursday during the summer quarter.


  • Federal holidays
  • Staff in-service days
  • One week maintenance break in June
  • One week maintenance break in August
  • Winter break in December

The college's current academic calendar, including closure days, is available on the Website Academic Calendar. A printed copy can be obtained n the Early Learning Center office.

Please see our Yearly Calendar for all scheduled closures and Family Night dates.

The Early Learning Center does not offer drop-in childcare services. Children must attend according to their schedule.

Early Learning Center Parent Handbook - PDF opens in new window

Click the link above to open Parent Handbook (PDF) in new window. Handbook features important information about our program including:

  • Program policies and goals
  • Health and safety practices
  • Disaster preparedness plan
  • Telephone numbers, hours of operation, staff list
  • Staff list
  • Screenings
  • Assessments
  • Enrollment and admission
  • Classroom schedules and activities
  • Meals and snacks
  • Behavior management
  • Wellness monitoring
  • and more

Meals and Snacks

The Early Learning Center prepares and serves breakfast, lunch, and two afternoon snacks. We follow USDA guidelines as well as the Washington State Licensing Code (WAC). Our meals and snacks provide healthy, fresh foods with variety. We also provide milk and water at each meal.

Monthly menus are available online, as well as on classroom parent boards inside the center.

More information available in the Parent Handbook - PDF document opens in new window.

Open House

Held every Fall so parents and children can meet their new teacher and see their classroom.

Family Nights

Held once per quarter so parents and children can interact with ELC staff in a fun environment. Developing a partnership with your child's teacher is a great way to show your child the importance of school and education. See the ELC Yearly Calendar for specific Family Night dates.

Parent Teacher Conferences

ELC closed the last Friday of each academic quarter so teachers can meet individually with parents to discuss their child's goals, progress and assessment data. Parents can share their family's culture, interests, any changes in the home, and discuss ways they can collaborate with the teacher.

Annual Conference

Each year the Early Learning Center partners with LCC Head Start, local school districts, and childcare organizations to present a day-long conference designed to provide educational support to Infant-K teachers, early learning professionals, child care providers, parents, students and other childcare professionals.

Head Start, ECEAP and Early Head Start

Supporting the mental, social, and emotional development of children from birth to age 5. Designed for low income families with children aged prenatal to 5 years.

Early Childhood Education Degree and Certificate Programs

Early Childhood Education

Full time program that provides the student with both academic coursework and preschool and public school experience necessary to become a beginning teacher of children ages birth to 5 years.


Direct transfer programs for students seeking a primary or secondary teaching certification.

Contact Early Learning Center (ELC)

 Kari Johnson, Director of Early Learning Center

  (360) 442-2890
Fax: (360) 442-2899

 Early Learning Center Office

  (360) 442-2903
Fax: (360) 442-2899

Copyright 2018 Lower Columbia College | All Rights Reserved.