Jesus said, “Feed My lambs” and “Let the little children come to Me for such is the Kingdom of God.” In this Christian environment, the spiritual needs of the children and their moral development are nurtured as an essential part of growth along with the social, emotional, cognitive, and physical development.
At St. Philip, each child is guided and cared for as a very special and unique creature of God who has been loved and forgiven through Jesus’ death and resurrection. Within our Christian environment, the spiritual needs and moral development of each child is the center from which our living, loving, and learning together are planned. “Jesus Time” is an integral part of each day’s program as our children learn about and experience God’s love.
St. Philip values the home-school partnership. We recognize and support parents as the child’s main teacher. The role of both the parents and St. Philip is to support the child’s decision-making capabilities. Since children learn by doing, the Center focuses on the process of learning rather than the product.
In early childhood every moment is a teachable moment. Our preschool, kindergarten, and extended care programs are planned with the young child in mind. During these early years, children need many hands-on experiences designed to enable the child to develop spiritually, emotionally, physically, and cognitively at their own level. Through such experiences, the young child can construct a sense and order of the world. In addition, competent teacher carefully guide socializations skills and healthy self-concepts as children interact with each other and in play.
St. Philip Lutheran School, Preschool, Child Care, and Kindergarten are fully accredited by the National Lutheran School Accreditation (NLSA) for quality program of Christian Education.
St. Philip Early Childhood Center is licensed by the State of Illinois, Department of Child and Family Services and by the City of Chicago as a preschool and extended care facility. This licensing is renewed every three years. The Center is also subject to regular inspections by the city and state.
Ministry to the church membership and the community began in 1893. The elementary school opened in September of 1937 with 23 first and second grade children in a classroom adjacent to the nave on the east side of the Church. Each year grades were added. By 1942, St. Philip was an accredited school with 75 students from kindergarten through eighth grade.
In 1985, the Church acquired property adjacent to the east of the parsonage on Bryn Mawr Avenue for the express purpose of establishing a Preschool/Child Care Center. This would help to meet the growing needs of serving young children in the three through five-year-old age group.
On May 19, 1986 the Center opened with an enrollment of four and a staff of two, and looked forward to new and exciting challenges and new beginnings. With this expanded facility of the Preschool/Child Care Center, the Church looks to the future. Since 1988 the kindergarten programs, have been located in the Center. In the spring of 2005 the Board of Directors made the decision to change the Center’s name from St. Philip Lutheran Preschool/Child Care Center to St. Philip Lutheran Early Childhood Center.
Recently the Center celebrated its 27th anniversary. Since the beginning, hundreds of children have begun their formal education at the Early Childhood Center. It is with God’s help that we are able to help build a solid foundation for these young children.
The mission of the St. Philip Lutheran Early Childhood Center is “to bring the love of Christ to our community by providing quality education to life-long learners”.