Early Learning Center

Announcement Regarding Early Learning Center

The ELC was established in spring 2009 in response to student surveys which indicated that the lack of childcare was a barrier to student success and retention.  The cost of the ELC was initially subsidized by the College and heavily supported by grants, which covered a number of staff positions.

Unfortunately, the costs of operating the center has become unsustainable.  Further increasing the problem, the COVID-19 pandemic has directly impacted auxiliary departments, especially the ELC, and their extended closure has significantly constrained their ability to generate revenue to offset expenses to keep the doors open.

After thoughtful consideration of options that was beneficial for students, staff and the College, and after consulting with the Board of Trustees, it became more evident that closing the ELC was inevitable given the unprecedented circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic.  The uncertainty of when the College can safely re-open, combined with mounting expenditures, made this decision to close the ELC a difficult but necessary one.

The last day of the ELC will be Tuesday, May 5, 2020.  HR is currently working with staff on final activities and developing a smooth transition plan according to the personnel policy manual.

In terms of the future of the facility, the ELC will be closed indefinitely; however, the College will be exploring options, including developing local partnerships, and creating a plan for a more sustainable program based on the needs of the College and students.

We apologize if this closure may present a hardship to some families who will have to find alternative child care.  It is our hope that this closure will only be temporary.

Child Care on Campus

The Northwest Indian College’s Early Learning Center is an Early Achievers rated program that provides high-quality care and early learning opportunities for the children of students and staff at Northwest Indian College. Our state licensed and Early Achievers rated program offers family-centered care for children ages 1 month to 5 years in our Infant, Toddler and Preschool classrooms.

The ELC provides a quality early learning program offering culturally relevant experiences for the young children in our care. Incorporating ideas from 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.

The Early Learning Center staff are highly trained, and offer a nurturing learning environment with excellent child to caregiver ratios. The staff is committed to protecting children’s health and safety, and creating an environment that is sensitive to supporting children’s home culture, language and values. Our program supports student families to reach their academic goals through flexible scheduling, affordable rates and convenient Lummi campus location.

Operating hours are 7:45 a.m. through 5:15 p.m., Monday-Friday. Classrooms enroll each quarter, and families are accepted on a space-available basis. For more information on current rates or enrollment please contact our office at 360-392-4260 or elc@nwic.edu . To enroll in the online waiting list, please visit https://daycare.nwic.edu .

Contact Us

For more information contact:
Katherine Friday, Early Learning Center Director, by email at elc@nwic.edu or by phone at 360-392-4264 or toll free at 866-676-2772 ext. 4264

Click here to register for the ELC wait list

The Early Learning Center

News and Announcements

NWIC Initial Response to Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Posted on11 Mar 2020
The College has taken precautionary measures to protect and prepare for the impact related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19). All classes were cancelled, Wednesday March 11, to allow time for a mandatory precautionary all-staff and faculty training and updates to prepare for a possible closure.  This training included Canvas, Zoom, and Office 365 in case of an outbreak in order to implement a practice of “social distancing,” in case of a campus closure to mitigate service/class...
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Preschool Children Engaging in Indigenous Food Sovereignty: Planting and Harvesting Potatoes and Pumpkin Seeds

Posted on28 Feb 2020
Article written by Katherine Friday Photos courtesy of Jazeel Michel   “Food sovereignty is at the core of tribal sovereignty… My ancestor who signed the Medicine Creek Treaty made sure that access to native foods was ensured for generations to come. These foods have sustained our people’s physical health, cultural integrity and spiritual wellness since time immemorial.” (quotation by Valerie Segrest, who helps coordinate the Muckleshoot Tribe’s Food Sovereignty Project, and is now with Feed...
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We Pass Our Sensory Garden Everyday on Our Way to School

Posted on21 Feb 2020
Article written by Taja Oberly Photographs courtesy of Jazeel Michel, Alex Stribling, and Treena Humphreys   As we pass our Sensory Garden every day on the way to school, the school day begins, as students notice the changes in the garden and point them out the families.  They describe various plants and talk about how things smell and feel.  They take pride in caring for and sharing their garden.   The garden reflects a variety...
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Spring is Here and So are We: NWIC Preschoolers Learn to Explore!

Posted on28 May 2019
Written by Alex Stribling, Preschool Teacher Northwest Indian College Early Learning Center   Do you hear those sounds? They are the sounds of birds, bugs, and children playing!  It is spring, and we are fully experiencing the new season at Northwest Indian College’s Early Learning Center. One of our goals in our preschool room is to keep children exploring their indigenous roots through science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education while having fun. April has...
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New Sensory Garden at NWIC Early Learning Center

Posted on09 Apr 2019
The NWIC Early Learning Center’s newly installed Sensory Garden supports children’s education in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). The garden has been thoughtfully designed to allow young children to observe, explore, and interact with a small ecosystem featuring plants that are indigenous to the area, hold traditional significance, and/or provide textural or botanical interest. The space provides a living laboratory where children can engage in experiential learning of STEM concepts at...
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Native Children Living on Salish Sea Meet and Greet Sea Creatures

Posted on06 Dec 2018
In early November, the Salish Sea Research Center team from Northwest Indian College visited the NWIC Early Learning Center classrooms. The students were excited to see what they had brought because the scientists arrived with a mysterious, big, red ice chest. The children called it “a treasure chest of sea creatures!” The older children learned more about these creatures as they painted oyster and clamshells. The toddlers were more interested in trying to put creatures...
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Early Learning Center Open House Sept 13th

Posted on11 Sep 2018
  NWIC Early Learning Center New & Returning Families are invited! Thursday September 13th from 2:00-4:30 Building #18 on Lummi Campus -Learn about ELC services and how to apply -Complete Registration Paperwork -Family safety information & Door Prizes! -Visit your child’s classroom & meet the Teachers -Receive information about your child’s classroom schedule, supply list and upcoming activities Unable to attend? Sign-up for the wait list here

NWIC Receives American Indian College Fund Grant for Early Childhood Education

Posted on10 Sep 2018
Engaging Native Children in STEM:  What Our X’epy (Cedar People) and Scha’nexw (Salmon People) Can Teach Us about the World and Cosmology   Northwest Indian College has received another Early Childhood Education (ECE) grant entitled, For the Wisdom of the Children: Strengthening the Teacher of Color Pipeline, from the American Indian College Fund.  It has three areas of focus: Strengthening and expanding the teacher of color pipeline; Developing more science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM)...
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Indigenous Peoples’ Day 2020

Posted on12 Oct 2020
Indigenous Peoples’ Day honors our Peoples, Nations, Relations, Places, Love, Languages, Landscapes, and Seascapes… through action and commemoration of our shared histories and living cultures,...
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