About Us

Downtown Ithaca Children’s Center History
The Downtown Ithaca Children’s Center has a decades long connection to the city of Ithaca and surrounding communities.  Originally established in the early 1970s as the Drop-In Children’s Center, the facility initially operated as a parent cooperative, offering childcare services “by the hour.”  This approach provided a unique and necessary service to members of the community.  The Center quickly evolved into a more traditional not-for-profit daycare facility with paid full-time staff.  However, the Center maintained its cooperative spirit through the constant presence of parents who continued to volunteer and served on its Board.

In 1996, the Center became licensed by the New York State Office of Children and Family Services, and has subsequently provided full time daycare services for the Ithaca community while continuing to also offer “drop-in” services when needed.  In 2005, the Center added a new toddler wing, increasing the center’s ability to further provide for the needs of the community.

In recent years, the Center’s contribution to the community has shifted more towards an emphasis on full-time care, leading to our reintroduction to the community as the Downtown Ithaca Children’s Center.  It is with this connection to our past and a clear vision towards the future that the Downtown Ithaca Children’s Center continues to provide quality, safe, nurturing care for our community’s children.


Our Mission
The Downtown Ithaca Children’s Center provides a creative and culturally diverse environment that fosters the emotional, social, and intellectual development of children. Our successes are achieved through family, staff, and community support and collaboration.