The NIC Children's Center is a nationally accredited, dual-function early childhood program that serves as NIC's Child Development Lab School while providing high-quality child care services to NIC's students, faculty and staff. Our mission is to provide a high-quality lab setting for NIC's students to obtain the skills necessary for working with young children in a developmentally appropriate manner, while also providing an accessible and affordable student service that enables NIC's students to attend classes and meet their educational goals. In addition, our program partners with North Idaho College Head Start and serves a limited number of Head Start families whose parents are NIC students. These families receive all Head Start services while at the Children's Center.
Our services are prioritized for children of NIC students with 3 or more credits. Students taking 6 or more credits receive a student discount on their child care tuition. We also serve children of NIC faculty and staff, however slots are very limited due to the prioritization of student's children. We offer several different options for enrollment including M-F, M/W/F, and T/Th, with half day options available to students only. We are open Monday through Thursday 6:45-5:15 and Friday 6:45-2:45. The Center is open fall and spring semesters only and is closed during non-school days (such as winter and spring break).
The NIC Children's Center is a fully inclusive program that provides children and parents with all abilities an equal opportunity to participate in the Center's program and services.
The Children's Center believes a low adult-to-child ratio is an extremely important aspect of a quality child care program. To achieve and support low ratios, small group play, and more one-to-one interactions, the Children's Center relies on the following support staff:
Classroom Assistants: Part time classroom assistants are hired to work with children under the supervision of the teachers. Students who are awarded funds as part of their financial aid package are also hired to work as assistants. All classroom assistants are required to undergo fingerprinting and a background check prior to employment.
Practicum Students: Practicum students are enrolled in the Child Development Program and are studying to become early care professionals. Students work directly in the classroom to gain experience and hands-on practice. They are supervised by classroom teachers and are under guidance of NIC Child Development Instructors.
Volunteers: Parents, family members, students, Service Learning Program members, and others from the community add a diverse component to the Children's Center and are an integral part of our program.
Individual Child Care License: All persons working in the classroom with children, including volunteers (except parents) and students are required to have a current individual childcare license. To receive this license a person must have cleared an FBI background check, fingerprints on file with law enforcement, and a cleared TB Test. In addition, Classroom Assistants are required to provide certification of First Aid/CPR and proof of ongoing education.