Childcare & Preschool
Early childhood education with preschool and care for children ages 16 months to five years
It's always an incredible day at the Wilder Child Development Center!
With full-time childcare and preschool right here in Saint Paul, Minnesota, parents and guardians can expect the highest quality learning and care for their children ages 16 months to 5 years with year-round enrollment. Our community of staff and teachers continually recognize and strive to meet the diverse needs, abilities, interests and cultures of children and their families, where each person is valued and respected as a contributor in our classroom environment. (See our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion at Wilder).
The Wilder Child Development Center is a Head Start co-location site, NAEYC accredited and has the highest rating of ★ ★ ★ ★ 4-Stars by Parent Aware. This means that parents and guardians can expect incredible childcare, learning that prepares children for kindergarten and life, and support for the whole family!
Phone: 651-280-2600 | Fax: 651-280-3600 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Location: 911 Lafond Ave., Saint Paul, MN (Find & review us on Google Maps)
Take a Tour of the Wilder Child Development Center
Monday–Friday 7:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
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Want to get involved at the Child Development Center?
- Email email@example.com to ask about volunteer opportunities
- Visit our careers page to find out more about openings at the Child Development Center.
- Contribute to our food shelf. Email Donyella Smith and Angie Clair for information about current needs.
An Early Childhood Education Center Where Children Learn and Engage
Our full-time, NAEYC accredited and 4-Star Parent Aware rated Child Development Center:
- Provides early childhood education through child care and preschool with social and emotional learning using The Incredible Years® curriculum
- Focuses on getting kids ready for kindergarten
- Supports individualized learning with classrooms by age
- Engages parents and families to take part in their child's learning
- Connects families with community services, resources and supports
A child’s early years are important and set the stage for future success.
At Wilder's Child Development Center, we foster a nurturing and creative environment where toddlers and preschoolers are valued. Along with reading and math lessons, children learn how to share, play with others and understand their feelings through the Incredible Years curriculum.
Growth and Learning in a Safe, Fun Place for Children
- Large classrooms with space for group time and one-on-one, individualized learning
- Two secure outdoor playgrounds, a nature area and an indoor gym
- Fresh and healthy meals (breakfast and lunch) and snacks made onsite
- National accreditation by NAEYC and a top 4-STAR rating from Minnesota’s Parent Aware
Community Partnerships and Resources for Families
- Innovative music learning program with MacPhail Center for Music
- Head Start co-location site for families who qualify
- Saint Paul Public Schools partnership for early childhood screening, individualized education plan services, and assistance enrolling in kindergarten.
- Minnesota Reading Corps curriculum helps build math and early literacy skills
Family Involvement & Support Beyond for Families
- Parent-teacher conferences to reinforce lessons and strengthen bonds between children and families
- Parent education classes to develop positive parenting strategies
- Parent advisory group to seek feedback in decisions about the center, curriculum and activities
- Family fun nights to bring together families, children and staff (monthly)
Classrooms and Teachers Organized by Children's Ages
Toddlers (16 months to 33 months)
Our toddler classrooms have a 2:8 (Cub Classroom) and a 3:12 (Bear Classroom) teacher-to-child ratio. These small class sizes encourage individualized learning. We schedule monthly field trips and quarterly parent-teacher conferences.
We work with our 16- to 33-month-old toddlers on skills like:
- Putting toys away
- Recognizing body parts
- Verbalizing the need to use the bathroom
- Going up and down stairs
- Matching familiar objects
- Potty training (by 33 months)
- And more!
Penguins (2 1/2 to 3 1/2 years)
To support individualized learning, the Penguin classroom has a 3:18 teacher-to-student ratio. We schedule monthly field trips and quarterly parent-teacher conferences.
We work with our 2 1/2- to 3 1/2-year-old children on skills like:
- Following classroom rules and routines
- Expressing themselves using feeling words
- Recognizing individual names
- Performing many self-care tasks independently
- Counting to 20 in English
Butterflies (3 to 4 years)
Our Butterflies classroom has a teacher-to-student ratio of 3:20. Partnerships with the Saint Paul Public Schools and Minnesota Reading Corps help children prepare for kindergarten and build early literacy skills. We schedule monthly field trips and quarterly parent-teacher conferences.
We work with our 3- to 4-year-old children on skills like:
- Sitting, listening and participating during large group activities
- Using words to resolve conflict
- Making phonic sounds for the letters of the alphabet
- Using body coordination to move easily
- Using words and senses to observe and explore
- Recognizing and naming all letters of the alphabet
Dolphins (4 to 5 years old)
To support individualized learning, our Dolphins classroom has a 3:20 teacher-to-student ratio. Partnerships with the Saint Paul Public Schools and Minnesota Reading Corps help children prepare for kindergarten and build early literacy skills. We schedule monthly field trips and quarterly parent-teacher conferences.
We work with our 4- to 5-year-old children on skills like:
- Following directions
- Recognizing and naming most letters of the alphabet
- Writing first names and recognizing last names
- Recognizing and producing rhyming sounds
- Mastery of self-help skills
- Beginning to identify different characteristics of people
Each of our classrooms is staffed by a lead teacher and one or more assistant teachers who are excited about helping children learn.
Information on Child Care and Preschool Enrollment and Tuition
We accept enrollments to the Wilder Child Development Center throughout the year. Parents and guardians can also make payments online using our safe and secure system.
Step 1: Take a Tour
Start the process by taking a tour of our center and facilities. During the tour, you can observe our classrooms and ask questions. We’ll also have tuition information available.
Step 2: Complete an Application
Once you tour and decide to enroll your child, complete an application and submit it in-person, mail or email:
Wilder Child Development Center
911 W. Lafond Ave.
St. Paul, MN 55104
Step 3: We'll Call You
If we have a spot open, we’ll schedule a meeting with you to go over additional paperwork.
If we don’t have a spot available, we’ll add you to our waiting list.
Questions? Speak to our school staff at 651-280-2600.
How much is the tuition at the Child Development Center?
Tuition is a flat, weekly rate (5 full weekdays) that includes healthy breakfast, lunch and snacks made fresh on-site, community field trips, and family support including parent advisory groups and parent education classes. We offer full-time childcare from 7:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and do not have half-day child care and preschool options at this time. Children ages 16 months to 5 years are accepted. We do not offer infant or school-aged care.
Maximum Tuition Costs:
- Toddlers: Ages 16 months to 32 months | $376.80* per week
- Preschoolers: 33 months to 5 years | $318* per week
- School Age: 5 years to 12 years (summer months only) | $240* per week
*Your weekly tuition payment can be lowered with child care assistance programs or early learning scholarships to help you pay for child care.
Child Care Assistance and Resources for Parents, Guardians and Families
How can you pay for child care?
We understand that it is not always easy to afford care for your child(ren). Parents, guardians and families have flexibility in how they choose to pay for child care and can get financial help using Minnesota’s state and county child care assistance programs and early learning scholarships. Remember, you can make payments to us at the center or pay your bill online.
Families deciding to pay tuition out of pocket:
- Tuition payments can be made by cash, check, credit card or debit card
- Must be paid weekly with payment due every Monday
Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP)
Families who are income eligible and meet employment and training requirements can get financial assistance from Minnesota Department of Human Services to pay for child care.
Good to know about Child Care Assistance Programs:
- Based on your family’s size and gross annual income (the amount of money your family earns in one year from all sources before taxes), you may have to pay a copayment or a portion of the child care cost
- You may be put on a waiting list to receive child care assistance.
CCAP Eligibility: Find out if your family is eligible for childcare assistance
CCAP Application: Apply for the Minnesota Child Care Assistance Program
Think Small Early Learning Scholarships
Families who live in Hennepin and Ramsey Counties can get a scholarship from Think Small
Good to know about Early Learning Scholarships:
- Your family’s eligibility will also be based your child(ren)’s age and gross annual income.
- Maximum scholarship amount is $7,500/year, equal to 6 months of full time child care at Wilder Child Development Center. Staff can work with you to help you make this scholarship last longer.
Think Small Eligibility: Find out if your family is eligible for an early learning scholarship
Think Small Application: Apply for a Think Small Early Learning Scholarship
We have a parent calendar for our parents to download and reference throughout the year. All dates and information are subject to change due to program needs. If a change is made we will communicate the change as soon as possible through email, text and written notice.
FAQ for Deciding Parents & Guardians
Here are some general questions that we can answer for parents and guardians who are considering enrolling their child(ren) at the Child Development Center.
I'm interested in having my child(ren) attend the Child Development Center, where can I apply?
We accept applications at any time. However, we invite you to first see our Child Development Center by taking a tour. Watch our video to get a sneak-peak!
What does the weekly child care tuition cover?
Weekly child care tuition includes healthy breakfast, lunch and snacks made fresh in our cafeteria, field trips, parent education and family support.
How will I know how my child(ren) are doing?
You'll be connected with teachers on a daily basis through safe, secure apps who will share your child's updates, pictures and moments so you don't miss a beat.
Where can I learn more about the classrooms and teachers?
Read about our classrooms and our teachers, and don't forget to follow us on Facebook.
What other resources will I have access to?
You will have access to free parent education groups, family resources, the Direct Housing Assistance Program that helps you pay your rent or mortgage and other Wilder programs and services.
Support Early Childhood Education & Care
Nearly 75 percent of the families whose children attend the Wilder Child Development Center rely on the Child Care Assistance Program and early learning scholarships to pay tuition. Your generosity helps provide quality learning, child care and community support for children and their families right here in Saint Paul!
Related Stories and Research
The McKinney family chose the Child Development Center for its diversity and focus on kindergarten readiness in a supportive environment
When Lawrence and Charmaine McKinney started looking for child care for their oldest child, they wanted to find something near their neighborhood. They also wanted an opportunity to interact with a racially and ethnically diverse group o...More about this story »
This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant to the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a special legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.