Velma Thomas Center

Velma Thomas Center

The Velma Thomas Early Childhood Center is a Chicago Public School Child Parent Center located in Chicago's McKinley Park neighborhood. We educate three- and four-year-olds in mixed-age, multilingual classrooms with our teaching staff of Illinois-certified early childhood specialists.

Visit our facilities at 3625 S. Hoyne Ave. and learn more about us on our website at and on our Facebook page. Get in touch by calling (773) 535-4088, or emailing Principal Mary Kay Richardson at

Our mission is to provide an education that honors the unique image of each child and strives to appreciate and nurture a diverse community of learners. We foster authentic relationships through communication and collaboration with children, families, staff and members of the community.  Within these partnerships, we strive to prepare inquisitive, self-motivated, lifelong learners.

We opened in 1989 in the Kenwood-Oakland neighborhood as a demonstration teaching program before moving to McKinley Park in 2005. Our curriculum has been inspired by the Reggio-Emilia Approach, which calls for parents, teachers and children to engage actively together in the practice of collaborative learning.

We believe that young children are engaged, active learners who construct their knowledge. Teachers are researchers who collaborate with colleagues to develop a cohesive environment. Authentic relationships are the foundation of — and the prerequisite for — all learning, development and change. We believe in the importance of engaging parents and empowering them to be advocates for their children.

(773) 535-4088
3625 S. Hoyne Ave.
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Velma Thomas Center

Official Child Parent Center of Chicago Public Schools.