Early Learning Campus
Essential early care and education for Madison College’s youngest learners!
Early Learning Campus services are open to pre-kindergarten children (ages 6 weeks - 5 years) of Madison College students, faculty, and staff. Enrolled children grow and learn in a safe and nurturing environment and are encouraged to experience the world around them. All classrooms foster growth in social, emotional, physical, self-help, cognitive and early literacy/math skills.
The Early Learning Campus is state licensed and accredited by the City of Madison.
Review the MATC Early Learning Campus provider rating from Youngstar.
Want to learn more?
- ELC Enrollment
The Early Learning Campus has four classrooms and serves children ages 6 weeks to prekindergarten age. Enrollments are offered as part-day or full-day. Minimum enrollment is two mornings per week. The center does not enroll for afternoons only.
For enrollment consideration:
- review the Family Handbook to ensure the center is a good fit for your child or children.
- review the Tuition Rates. Tuition rates are subject to change and are typically updated each August.
- complete the Online Interest Form. There is no fee to complete the Interest Form and be placed on the waitlist.
NOTE: The waitlist varies significantly depending on the child’s age and desired schedule. Priority enrollment preference for each semester is:
- Currently enrolled families
- Full time student-families
- Full time staff/faculty families
- Part time student-families
- Part time staff/faculty families
- Community families
Once notified of an available opening, you will be invited to meet with the director and tour the center. Families accepting an enrollment slot must complete enrollment paperwork and provide a fee to confirm initial enrollment.
- Childcare Tuition Rates
The Early Learning Campus tuition rates are based on a sliding fee scale determined by family income, child age, and enrollment schedule. Fees are based on full-semester enrollment.
A nonrefundable registration fee per child is required to confirm initial enrollment.
- $40 for Madison College Students
- $50 for Madison College Faculty/Staff and community families.
Note: For enrolled MMSD 4K families, this will also cover the District-required materials fee.
For subsequent academic terms, an enrollment continuation fee will be assessed.
- $10 for Madison College Students
- $15 Madison College Faculty/Staff and community families .
Families may be eligible for a registration fee waiver based on income. Please discuss this with ELC administration staff.
- 4K Enrollment
The Early Learning Campus has been contracted to serve as a community partner for Madison Metropolitan School District's four-year-old kindergarten (4K) program. A child is eligible for the 4K program if he/she turns 4 years old before September 1.
The ELC 4K program utilizes the same curriculum and assessment as the public schools, and the teacher has the same DPI license as the public school staff. The classroom also has additional staffing and resources.
The ELC 4K program runs Monday-Friday from 9:00am-12:00pm and follows the ELC calendar. The center offers priority enrollment to Madison College students, staff, and faculty but also accepts community families into the 4K program.
For families who need additional educational services, the Early Learning Campus offers before- and/or after-care services as an option. The before/after care is provided in the same classroom with the same teaching staff as the 4K program.
To register for our 4K Program:
- Complete the Early Learning Campus Online Interest Form
- Complete the MMSD 4K Online Enrollment and select the MATC Early Learning site
- If applicable, complete the DPI out-of-district request form. Contact the ELC for more information on whether/how to do this.
- Scholarships/Funding Resources
The Early Learning Campus accepts funding from many outside agencies, including:
- Dane Co Child Care Subsidy Program(SHARES)
- City of Madison Child Care Assistance
- UW Child Care Tuition Assistance Program (CCTAP)
Please contact the agencies above to explore eligibility criteria and program requirements.
In addition, the ELC supports several scholarships available to qualified Madison College students to help with the cost of childcare.
CCAMPIS (Child Care Access Means Parents in School) Scholarship
This is a federally funded program that provides financial assistance to income-eligible student-parents to help them reach their educational goals. Pell grant student-parents that meet other eligibility and program requirements may be awarded up to 75%-95% funding towards their out-of-pocket childcare expenses.
Madison College Child Care Foundation Scholarship
Student-parents with children enrolled at the Early Learning Campus may be eligible for this scholarship to assist with out-of-pocket childcare expenses at the ELC. Applications are offered after each semester begins and applicants must present a need for additional funding. This scholarship is awarded on an as-available basis, after outside funding sources have been utilized and/or applied for.
The Myrtle Bahm Leonard Memorial Scholarship
Eligible student-parents must be enrolled in a health-related field of study, must have a 12-credit history at Madison College, and must be enrolled in a minimum of 9 credits during the academic term of the scholarship award. This application requires letters of recommendation. This scholarship is awarded on an as-available basis for childcare expenses at the Early Learning Campus.
The Early Learning Campus was expressly designed for young children to engage in active, hands-on learning. Our classrooms and playgrounds feature many natural elements and open-ended loose parts. We emphasize relationships with children and families and recognize the family as the child's best teacher. Our role is to support and extend the learning children come with to our classrooms.
Our curriculum approach is based on child-centered, developmentally appropriate practices. Our research-based curriculum, Creative Curriculum, recognizes young children as capable learners who explore, wonder, test, and create to build knowledge.
We believe children learn best by being active – through play, both indoors and outdoors. Learning is structured and supported by teachers as they intentionally design play opportunities and guide children with specific goals in mind for development and learning. Our skilled teachers know when to use a given strategy to accommodate individual children and the content they are learning. Social skills, problem-solving, and creativity are valued over rote learning, worksheets, and standardized products.
The program celebrates diversity by supporting and respecting differences, as we collaboratively work with families. We also work in partnership with other departments in the College and community resources to access services and enhance the educational opportunities to benefit the children, their families, and program staff by promoting lifelong learning for all.
The Early Learning Campus is proud to hold early childhood program accreditation from the City of Madison Office of Community Services Childcare Accreditation. This is a voluntary accreditation process based on a comprehensive set of quality standards. These standards, which go beyond the mandatory state licensing regulations, are designed to promote the optimal development of your child.
The ELC program also has the highest 5-Star rating from Wisconsin’s YoungStar Quality Rating System. Stars are based on quality across all areas of operation, including teaching practices, classroom environments, health and safety, curriculum, family engagement, and program management.
In 2021, the ELC will also begin a national accreditation process through the National Early Childhood Program Accreditation (NECPA) system.
- Other Services
Family Engagement and Involvement:
At the Early Learning Campus, we value our partnership with families and know that we serve the children best when we have strong relationships with the adults in their lives. We offer multiple events each year to bring families together and share learning. There are also multiple opportunities for families to volunteer in the classrooms/center and have input into program planning and activities through the monthly “Donuts with Donna” meetings.
(Note, some of these activities have been suspended as part of our COVID prevention protocols)
Programming for Children with Special Needs:
Children with special needs are welcome at the Early Learning Campus. The curriculum is multi-faceted, and teachers strive to set and meet learning goals appropriate for each child. Our staff will work with you and any special education personnel, therapists, or medical personnel to ensure each child’s needs are addressed. Please see the Family Handbook for additional information.
Breastfeeding Friendly Center:
The Early Learning Campus is committed to providing ongoing support to breastfeeding mothers and their infants/children. The center has a spacious, private, comfortable room for enrolled nursing or pumping mothers. The classrooms have refrigerators and can store/warm breast milk for your child right in the room. Mothers may also nurse their child in the classroom, if they prefer. (NOTE: This option is currently suspended under our COVID protocols).
Meals and Snacks:
The Early Learning Campus serves breakfast, lunch, and an afternoon snack on a six-week cycle menu. Meals are included in childcare tuition and are offered to all children attending during meal service times. All meals meet the nutrition requirements of the USDA Child/Adult Care Food Program. The center provides all food for children and can accommodate special dietary needs, with documentation from a medical provider. The center is a completely nut-free facility. Menus are designed to limit sugar/fat and incorporate fresh fruits and vegetables, when in season. Menus include foods that may be less familiar to some children. Children are encouraged, but not required, to taste new foods.
In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.
Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.
To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form (AD-3027) found online and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:
(1) Mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;
(2) Fax: (202) 690-7442; or
(3) Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
This institution is an equal opportunity provider.