Waisman Center–WECP

About Us

WECP History and Basic Information

The WECP is affiliated with the University of Wisconsin through the Graduate School. It began in 1979 as a result of state legislation allocating funding for a preschool at the Waisman Center. Over the years, WECP has become a licensed and accredited preschool and child care program with a mission of including children with special needs in a regular education setting. With the completion of the Waisman Center's expansion project in 1999, WECP grew to its present capacity of 100 children.

The WECP is a model university child development program licensed for children from ages one to eight. Six classroom programs for children ages one through six offer early education and care year‐round. Open Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., WECP maintains its commitment to providing high quality, developmentally appropriate programming. In addition, Dewdrops, the Parent/Infant‐Toddler Program, serves children birth to age three in a parent‐child enrichment program two mornings a week. During the summer months the Meteor Program is offered to school‐age children who have completed kindergarten or first grade. In summer 2011 a Spanish Immersion program will be offered.

Features & Facility

The Waisman Early Childhood Program (WECP) is affiliated with the University of Wisconsin‐Madison and is a model program for meeting the needs of a developmentally diverse group of young children. Approximately two thirds of the children in our program are typically developing, while up to one third may have a special educational need because of a developmental delay or disability.

Newly renovated, the WECP features small class size, low student to teacher ratios, large classrooms and a gymnasium. All classrooms open to a 1.5 acre playground, the Discovery Garden, which is being developed as an innovative environment for children to learn through outdoor play. We also offer special programs such as music/movement, sign language, and nature experiences, which are incorporated into our regular program. The WECP is accredited by the city of Madison, and complies with all local, state and national regulations and standards governing early education and care.

Located within the Waisman Center, a nationally recognized facility concerned with human development and developmental disabilities, our program is able to draw upon the expertise of UW researchers, educators and clinicians at the Waisman Center and across campus. We offer training in many disciplines to qualified university students and provide a research setting in which relevant educational and developmental issues can be studied. In addition, we serve as a community resource and provide outreach workshops to early childhood professionals.


Last modified on Wednesday, April 6th, 2011