University City Children's Center

A nonprofit organization

All children are prepared for life.

We believe what happens early in life lasts a lifetime and the power to change society lies in transforming the way young children are taught.

University City Children's Center (UCCC) provides innovative, quality care and education to a racially, culturally, developmentally, and socioeconomically diverse population of children between six weeks and six years old in a nurturing environment with supportive services for families. UCCC believes every child deserves the opportunity to have high quality childcare, where each child's early experiences build resiliency and create an internalized foundation for strong attachments, self-control, and initiative-all prerequisites for a strong future. UCCC has developed a robust Tuition Assistance Program to support families with need who could not otherwise afford high quality early childhood care and education. Half of the families at UCCC receive assistance through a combination of Head Start, Early Head Start, Missouri DSS, and private funding, including corporate and foundation partners and individual donors. Tuition assistance allows UCCC to serve families with financial need representing more than 34 ZIP codes.

- UCCC was founded in 1970, is a United Way Partner Agency, and serves approximately 252 children per school year.
- The families we aid are considered low-middle income/working poor/earning below poverty.
- Families who receive assistance are working, earning a degree, or both.
- We routinely serve children in the foster and adoptive care system.
- In 2012, UCCC created LUME Institute, a wholly owned subsidiary.
- In January 2015, Steve Zwolak, University City Children's Center Executive Director, received the prestigious national Educational Achievement Award from the American Psychoanalytic Association. This award was presented in recognition of UCCC's program and Zwolak's service to young children and their families.
- In January 2016, UCCC received the YWCA Volunteer Childcare Partner of the Year Award.
- In May 2016, UCCC received our Missouri Accreditation Renewal.
- In April 2018 we were admitted to Harvard's Center on the Developing Child's Frontiers of Innovation portfolio.
- In June 2019 we were awarded with the St. Louis Business Journal's Cutting Edge Award, which highlighted our work with ACEs.
- In 2020 UCCC celebrated 50 years of serving children and families with our 50th Birthday Bash!

Support from Give STL Day will directly impact our Tuition Assistance program. By helping to provide a quality early childhood education for young children, your donation will have an exponential impact on our community. Thank you for considering an investment in our future because what happens early in life lasts a lifetime.

Organization Data


Organization name

University City Children's Center

Tax id (EIN)



Children & Family


6646 Vernon Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63130



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