Early Childhood Center at 184 Eldridge

University Settlement's Early Childhood Center is a highly respected child care and early education program that has been serving preschoolers and their families on the Lower East Side since 1966.

Located in University Settlement's landmark, historic Lower East Side building, the Early Childhood Center provides children with a full-year, full-day program (8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.) with a head teacher, assistant teacher and full-time teacher's aide in each classroom.  Classrooms are spacious and filled with natural light, and our facilities also include a dance studio, an art room and a full-size gymnasium.

we're enrolling 3-year-olds now!

The Early Childhood Center at 184 Eldridge Street is currently enrolling for three-year-olds. You'll receive expert care for your child from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., with access to a full-sized gym and a pool. We'll help your child build independence and self-control, as well as develop problem solving and critical thinking. We've also got wonderful enrichment activities, including music and creative movement, daily indoor and outdoor play, yoga, swimming, field trips, and more!


The Early Childhood Center uses the Creative Curriculum, which helps children build independence, self-confidence and self-control; increases fine and gross motor skills; develops problem solving skills and critical thinking; and builds communication and listening skills.

We also integrate enrichment activities, including:

  • Music and creative movement classes
  • Yoga
  • Swimming at University Settlement's state-of-the-art Houston Street Center
  • Daily indoor and outdoor play
  • Field trips to museums, the zoo, etc.

Children with special needs are offered the additional support they need to succeed. Small, therapeutic peer playgroups are used to address simple behavioral problems. Children found to have learning disabilities or physical or psychological problems are provided with individualized speech therapy, occupational therapy and/or psychological counseling. 

The Center also provides workshops and education for parents, social service advocacy and referrals, and parent involvement through committees and volunteer opportunities.

Early Childhood Center services are offered in English, Spanish, Cantonese, Mandarin, Fujianese and Taiwanese, and are free of charge or on a sliding scale to income-eligible families residing or working in the Lower East Side and Chinatown communities.


University Settlement's Early Childhood Center is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).


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