Our History

The Child Development Center was created by First Baptist Church in 1969 as a service mission—with the goal of providing a preschool education curriculum for all children, no matter their backgrounds. In the decades since, the Child Development Center has helped raise hundreds of Columbia children with hands on learning, engaging activities and healthy food.

We believe in small class sizes so your child can get the individualized attention they need. All of our teachers hold degrees in child development and related fields and receive ongoing professional training. We are proud that our classrooms reflect the diversity of Columbia.

Our Philosophy

We promote active learning at the Child Development Center because we believe this is how young children construct and retain knowledge. By interacting with their environment and other people, children learn how to understand their world. Our teachers challenge and inspire your child’s development through stories, art and music, as well as positive interactions with classmates.

We adhere to a program of healthy snacks and a nutritional lunch each day. Children can play outside and explore nature on our playground during nice days, and we also have a gym where they can play during inclement weather. Your child will learn about our community through field trips and special visitors.

Diversity is valued at the Child Development Center. We are proud to have families from all over Boone County and the world. As the planet increasingly becomes smaller and more connected, we believe introducing children to different cultures is of paramount importance.


The mission of the Child Development Center hasn’t changed since opening its doors in 1969—to provide a high-quality preschool education for all children, regardless of any circumstance. We strive to reach out to children and families regardless of race, religion, economic status, color or national origin. 

While we do not teach doctrine to children enrolled at the Child Development Center, our families should be comfortable in a Christian environment where teachers identify a trustworthy God to the children—in word and deed. We want our children to see God as a loving companion, helper, friend and creator.


The Child Development Center is a state-licensed preschool, which means it is held to standards and inspected for health and safety several times per year. All staff members are CPR certified. We also hold Missouri Accreditation, which means we demonstrate quality indicators for curriculum, staff and management.


Child-care facilities provide excellent opportunities for children to develop healthy physical activity habits for life. The Missouri MOve Smart program is designed to help children stay active and avoid obesity. Each day at the Child Development Center, your child will enjoy 90 minutes of physical activity—30 structured minutes that are led by a teacher and 60 unstructured minutes of play.


Children learn eating habits at an early age. To help prevent childhood obesity and promote the overall health of our community, the Child Development Center adheres to the State of Missouri’s Eat Smart guidelines for child care. The Eat Smart guidelines outline that your child gets a morning and afternoon snack of whole grains, dairy products, fruits and vegetables. We also serve a healthy lunch at midday to help your child stay focused and energized.

In April 2013, we became just the 32nd child-care center in Missouri to earn Eat Smart certification.