Children’s Learning Center is much more than just a daycare


Susanna Fravell, Staff Writer

The university offers a lot of different services for students and faculty. One of the services offered is the Children’s Learning Center.

The Learning Center is available for students, professors and other faculty and is designed to help children from the ages of two to five years old build skills and interests at their own pace. The teachers work to bring out each of the children’s uniqueness and encourage growth. 

“The mission of the learning center is to ensure children are provided with the opportunity to learn and grow,” Manager Jamie Madigan said. 

Madigan has been in early childhood for 28 years and wasn’t satisfied with her previous job because she didn’t get to work directly with children. So she decided to find a job where she can give direct service to little ones. 

Madigan has been the manager at the learning center for nearly five years now. 

“My favorite part is hugs from the children and a sense of comfort and satisfaction from the families,” Madigan said.

Professor of Political Science and Global Studies, Ellen Topper takes her two-year-old son to the learning center and is very pleased with the services. Topper likes the closeness of the center, competitive rates, how well educated the staff are, emphasis on being outdoors, and liked the center when she toured it. 

“I was really impressed with the director and the staff and their emphasis on children playing outside and being outside,” Topper said. 

This is the third daycare Topper has had experience without of her two kids and says that it’s her favorite.

“I would say it definitely ranks as my number one in the experiences I’ve had with my children, it really is a great place and great resource that USI has for children of faculty and staff or students,” Topper said.

Topper said her son has made many strides from his time at the learning center and has gotten better with interacting with other kids. The two-year-old has greatly benefited from the amount of time he has spent outdoors. He engages with a lot of activities outside as well as spend time in many types of spaces and interact with different kinds of materials.

In an article written by Dr. Claire McCarthy of Harvard Medical School she states children should get time outside for several reasons. One reason is because the vitamin D the kids absorb helps bone development and their immune system. 

McCarthy also said in her article the outdoors help enhance creativity, imagination, and problem-solving skills. Being outside also helps kids with social skills. This can help kids learn how to make friends, cooperate with others, and treat others.