Early Learning Center

Welcome to Lower Columbia College's Early Learning Center (ELC), a licensed, full-service child care center for children ages one month to kindergarten entry. Services are open to LCC students and employees. 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, emotional and language development experiences for LCC students, staff and faculty. Our center welcomes all children regardless of race, creed, color, national origin, or disability.

Mission Statement

The primary mission of the LCC Early Learning Center is to provide high quality on-campus child care to support degree seeking students during their educational journey.

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 - PDF document automatically downloads, and email, mail or bring to the ELC Office in person.


Student-parents will be considered for child care assistance through CCAMPIS funding based on eligibility status, financial income, need, resources and family contribution levels. To apply for childcare at a reduced rate please fill out a CCAMPIS application.

Enrollment Policy

Because we are participants of the CCAMPIS grant and serving LCC student parents is the primary mission of the ELC, the target for enrollment of the Center will be 75% students (must be certificate or degree seeking) and 25% faculty and staff. Upon graduation, students will transition to community child care, assisted by the ELC Family Navigator. Child care services for graduates may continue through August 31 after graduation if needed.

We have joined in partnership with LCC Headstart/ECEAP and now provide ECEAP within our program to qualified families. Through this partnership children stay in our program but have access to additional services that are brought to them to assist in their development and education. ECEAP services are offered to children who turn 3 before August 31st. ECEAP eligibility is based on several factors including income level, disabilities or other special circumstances. For more information call the Early Learning Center office at (360) 442-2903.

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 year-round 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. You will be billed monthly. All payments are due on the first business day of each month. Failure to make payments on time will result in termination of services and accounts will be sent to collections.

Early Learning Center Rates 2021-2022

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.

Hours of Operation


  • Monday - Friday: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 pm during Lower Columbia College's academic year.
  • Summer Hours - TBD.


  • 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 or ECEAP 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 - 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.

October Monthly Menu, Infant October Monthly Menu, as well as on classroom parent boards inside the center.

Meet Your Teacher

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.

LCC Early Learning Conference

Each fall community partners come together to plan a daylong conference that is designed to provide educational support to infant-Kindergarten teachers, early learning professions, child care providers, parents, students and other childcare professionals. For more information call the Early Learning Center office at (360) 442-2890.

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

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