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Center for Early Childhood Education

Welcome to the CECE

Center for Early Childhood Education (CECE)

The CECE is an on campus child care facility for young children of students, ESU employees, and community members.

The CECE is licensed by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment to provide child care for children 12 months (and walking) through school age. CECE has a long history of providing quality early childhood education and child care.

About the CECE

The CECE, located in the Butcher Education Center at 15th and Merchant, strives to provide a high quality early childhood environment for children of ESU students, faculty, and the surrounding community.

The CECE operates on a slightly different calendar than the University. We offer our toddler & preschool programs during the summer as well as our Summer School Age Program. Our school is open from 7:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Priority enrollment is given to ESU students and/or faculty needing child care. The Toddler, Preschool I and Preschool II Classrooms offer full day schedules only.

Being part of the university campus, the CECE is affiliated with The Teachers College at ESU.


Though the ESU Center for Early Childhood Education was recently licensed in 2004, its predecessors were established programs on the ESU campus for many years. The ESU Child Development Center (CDC) was established in 1982. The Butcher Preschool began in the early 1970’s. They both merged their programs together in August 2004 to form the ESU Center for Early Childhood Education (CECE).

Classes Offered / Ratios

The CECE constantly maintains adult child ratios that meet or exceed the standards mandated by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. At maximum, our ratios are:


Age Range

Teacher:Child Ratios

Toddler I
(maximum number of students: 10)

1 - 2 1/2 years


Toddler II
(maximum number of students: 10)

1 - 2 1/2 years


Preschool I
(maximum number of students: 20)

2 1/2 - School Age


Preschool II
(maximum number of students: 20)

2 1/2 - School Age


Mission & Philosophy

At the Emporia State University Center for Early Childhood Education, we welcome all children and their families. We strive to provide a healthy, safe, nurturing, and inclusive environment that encourages young children's natural growth and development. Our early childhood program is designed to foster each child's social-emotional, cognitive, language, and motor development through child-centered activities that are developmentally appropriate.

We believe early childhood education should excite curiosity, stimulate creativity, encourage the development of problem-solving skills, create and expand cognitive, language, and motor skills, and help each child to better understand himself/herself and the world in which he/she lives. Early childhood education "happens" everywhere! Spontaneous learning takes place through guided play and through interaction with others. Children learn how to live harmoniously with adults and with their peers while also learning how to become more independent and self-reliant.

We understand and respect that families are the primary decision-makers for their children. We encourage parents to visit with their child's teacher about classroom daily schedules, planned activities, their child's special needs, their goals for their child's early childhood education and care, etc. We also encourage parents to share their talents and interests and take an active role in their child’s classroom whenever possible! We strive to work with families to provide consistent learning experiences between home and the CECE.

Based on research which vigorously supports the value of nurturing touch, this program will provide a warm, nurturing atmosphere in which children will be hugged, held, and supported when needed. We are confident in the professionalism of our staff and will not withhold this very important part of child care.

Enrollment Procedures

We encourage you to tour the CECE before deciding to enroll your child in our program. This will give you an opportunity to meet the staff and to discuss our philosophies and program with the Director. To schedule a tour, please contact the office at 620-341-5290.

Enrollment applications are available below or at the CECE, by calling the CECE at 620-341-5290.

Toddler/Preschool Waiting List Application.pdf

School Age Program Application.pdf

If an enrollment space is available, we will be happy to enroll your child immediately. If, however, space is not available, we encourage you to place your child's name on our waiting list. There is no charge for this service.

Completed applications can be mailed or faxed to us. Our mailing address and fax can be found on our homepage or on the top of the applications.

As soon as you are contacted to enroll your child, you will need to pay the non-refundable $50 reservation deposit. This will reserve your child's enrollment space. You will then need to pick up an enrollment packet at the CECE and schedule a time to meet to finalize your enrollment papers and discuss center policies and procedures. All paperwork must be completed before your child begins attending the center.