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Early Learning Center

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Early Learning Center Child Care

The Early Learning Center at the Northwest Indian College is a state-licensed early learning program for children ages 1 year through 5 years old. Our primary goal is to serve NWIC students who are parents of young children; as space allows, we are also happy to provide childcare for faculty and staff, as well as community members. We offer a low ratio of children to adults; competitive rates; highly qualified staff; individualized care; and a curriculum that supports cultural identity while engaging children at their individual developmental level. We are proud of our program’s work with the Wakanyeja “Sacred Little Ones” Early Childhood Education Initiative, and our commitment to integrating the Hand in Hand “Parenting by Connection” relationship building practices into every aspect of our program.

Early Learning Center

NWIC Lummi Campus
4165 Lummi Shore Road
Bellingham, WA 98226
Phone: 360 392-4260

Treat each child with respect and dignity


The mission of the Early Learning Center is to provide a quality, affordable and family-centered early learning program that meets the needs of the children and families enrolled. We are responsive to parents’ scheduling needs while ensuring developmentally appropriate, culturally relevant experiences for the young children in our care.


A quality early learning program enters into a partnership with parents in order to create an environment where all children are respected, nurtured and encouraged. We rely on your assistance in developing a program that meets your family’s needs. Parents and families are an integral part of our program and services. 

Our curriculum emphasizes creativity, culture, choice, growing independence, interdependence, cooperation, family, and friendships. Building relationships between staff, parents, and community is also a critical component. 

Our program gives children frequent opportunities for social interaction. Traditional Native American values are the basis for our emphasis on caring, sharing and respect within the community. We support the Lummi belief of LENGESOT: we take care of ourselves, watch out for ourselves, and love and take care of one another.


We, the staff of the Early Learning Center, are committed to:

  • Protecting the health and safety of children.
  • Creating an atmosphere sensitive to supporting the child’s home culture, language and values.
  • Helping children form a positive self-image.
  • Providing a responsive and loving environment where children can grow at their own rate.
  • Encouraging spontaneity and imagination in children.
  • Promoting autonomy and responsibility.
  • Respecting a child’s rights, so that by example, she/he will have self-respect, respect for others and a respect for our center.
  • Providing opportunities for the development of social relationships and interactions with other children.
  • Providing an environment that celebrates diversity and models respect and empathy for people of all ages, cultures, and abilities.
  • Creating an atmosphere of cooperation and mutual respect among families and teaching staff.


Northwest Indian College is committed to maintaining an environment in which every member of the campus community feels welcome to participate in the life of the College, free from harassment and discrimination. We welcome people of different races, ethnicities, national origins, religions, ages, sexual orientations, marital status, veteran status, abilities and disabilities. ELC staff will:

  • Treat each child with respect and dignity.
  • Create an inclusive and accessible program and classroom environment.
  • Recognize each child as an individual with unique strengths and needs.
  • Use ongoing communication to build partnerships with families to learn how we can best meet their needs.
  • Create a learning and professional community that ensures social justice, understanding, civility and non-violence in a safe and supportive environment.
  • Employ curriculum, teaching strategies, and student/personnel practices that facilitate sensitivity and openness to diverse ideas, peoples and cultures.

NWIC Research

Institutional research is an important way that Northwest Indian College fulfills its mission and strategic plan. Institutional research promotes institutional effectiveness through the use of planning, assessment, and feedback for continuous improvement.

NWIC Community

Northwest Indian College provides a sanctuary of learning that in many ways reflect the values of the communities in which they are in.

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NWIC Extended Campus Locations

Northwest Indian College‘s main campus is located at the Lummi Nation. The College also has six full service extended campus sites located at Muckleshoot, Nez Perce, Nisqually, Port Gamble S’Klallam, Swinomish, and Tulalip. Please use the location links to view details for each extended campus site.

Financial Aid

Northwest Indian College administers a broad range of financial aid, scholarships, and work-study programs for students who can demonstrate financial need.

Student Life

NWIC students are encouraged to engage and integrate into the life of the institution. Students are offered opportunities to participate in enrichment activities through Student Affairs, student government, and residence life.

Build Your Future.

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