The Union City Day Care Program is a private, non-profit child care and early childhood program.  It is comprised of three centers; the Union City Day Care located at 219-47th Street, the Union City Early Childhood Learning Center located at 510-35th Street, and Le Petit Jardin located in the Union City High School building.  All centers are fully licensed by the Bureau of Licensing of the New Jersey Department of Children and Families. 

The Union City Day Care Program was created in 1982, designed to provide day care services for families who would otherwise have little or no means of paying for a top quality day care and learning center. In 1983, the Union City Day Care Center (UCDC) opened its doors to eligible Union City residents working full time or attending an accredited educational institution on a full time basis as a matriculated student, where they could receive year round subsidized child care services through the Urban League of Hudson County.  In the fall of 1999, the Union City Day Care expanded its location and began offering free early childhood education for three and four year old children under the Abbott Program.  Free kindergarten education for eligible students was provided through an initiative grant.

In 1999, the Union City Day Care Program also began another refurbishing and remodeling project in midtown Union City for the opening of the Union City Early Childhood Learning Center (UCECLC) in the fall of 2000. This center offers free preschool and pre-kindergarten services to Union City residents.  

Le Petit Jardin was formed in 2004. This center presently is housed in the Union City High School Building and provides quality child care services during school hours to teen parents who are enrolled in the Parent Linking Program; a fully developed curricula to address the developmental needs of the infant/toddler child(ren) born to these adolescents. In exchange for free child care, participants are required to attend weekly group sessions in addition to the normal academic curriculum required for graduation.

Our child care program helps develop the physical, cognitive and psychosocial needs of our infants and toddlers in a warm, healthy and developmentally stimulating environment. In our preschool, pre-kindergarten and kindergarten programs, we provide students with oral language development and early literacy skills in an integrated holistic and thematic approach to learning.  Our teachers guide your child through an enriching year of exploring, gaining independence, accepting responsibilities, and developing self-confidence.  Our early education learners experience a challenging curriculum within a loving and nurturing environment filled with fun and excitement, creating the best foundation for their overall academic success. Placement in our child care programs is based on eligibility criteria, as stipulated by the Department of Human Services Division of Family Development, which includes registration date, number place on the waiting list and the slot eligibility of an age appropriate component opening.

Placement in our free preschool, pre-kindergarten and kindergarten programs are open to all Union City residents and is coordinated with the Union City Board of Education.  The Union City Day Care Program does not discriminate against race, religion, or socioeconomic status.

Our Mission Statement

The Union City Day Care Program’s mission is to provide a safe healthy, nurturing, and stimulating learning environment to all children in attendance.  Our Program embraces cultural diversity and fosters a love of learning in all children so that they can become self-directed learners and productive community members.

Our vision is to promote the development and individuality of each child by providing a variety of activities geared to the age and developmental level of the child and by implementing strategies and techniques supported by developmentally appropriate practices in their curriculum.


These activities encourage the development of skill in the following areas:

  1. Gross Motor

  2. Fine Motor

  3. Self Help

  4. Social/Emotional

  5. Language

  6. Cognitive

Our Philosophy

T. Berry Brazelton and Abraham Maslow believed that children need their basic needs met, which include safety, belonging and esteem. The Union City Day Care Program is designed to provide age-appropriate high-quality care for all enrolled children.  The Primary focus of the program is providing nurturing care and developmental stimulation for children in a safe and warm environment.  It is supplemented by good nutrition, health and family support services. 

The program’s philosophy, as it applies to the methods advocated for the adult/child interaction, is based upon a confluent model encompassing theories of Jean Piaget and Lev Vygotsky (cognitive development) and Erik Erickson and Stanley Greenspan (social/emotional) development.

The Program’s goal encourages the development of the whole child – socially, emotionally, physically and intellectually - by providing a wide variety of rich, first-hand experiences.  The objectives used to reach the program’s primary goals include encouraging the child to learn through play and participating in scheduled hands-on activities.

Children are encouraged to be creative and discover their surroundings.  They receive support in their efforts to explore and wonder in order to create enthusiasm for future learning.

The Program provides this kind of early stimulation by fostering knowledge about the world thus adding to the child’s sense of security and confidence, and giving more extensive networks of associations that children can bring to the abstract symbols in which schooling later relies on.

With regard to emotional development, the program provides opportunities for each child to develop feeling that:

----I am a separate and unique individual.

----I know I have value and worth because my teachers enjoy, understand and respect my person.

----I can be different and it’s okay.

----I am cherished even when my behavior had to be limited.