The Carole Robertson Center for Learning is a private non-profit organization serving more than 650 children and their families on the west side of Chicago.
Programs reach children at every stage of development — from birth to age 15 — and are bilingual in English and Spanish. Children with special needs are welcome in all programs. Current programs include: center-based and home-based early childhood programs for ages birth through five years, school age programming for children through age 15, and extensive support services for all families. See detailed descriptions of our programs and services.
To educate, enrich, and empower children and families.
Every child and family creates pathways to lead productive, fulfilling lives. This will be accomplished through comprehensive child and family development programs.
The Carole Robertson Center for Learning always strives for excellence to provide the best programs and services to the children, families, and communities we serve. Due to the hard work of our dedicated teachers and staff, our quality programs and outstanding achievements have been honored and recognized on local, state, and national levels.
Quality Indicators & Achievements
The Carole Robertson Center for Learning’s child, youth, and family development programs have been recognized nationally and locally by a variety of professional, academic, and public groups.
- Governor's Award of Excellence for Inclusion of Children with Special Needs, 2016
ExceleRate Illinois Gold Circle of Quality, (3 star rating), 2008 to present
Accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), 2004 to present
- Named 1 of 25 Exemplary Early Care and Education Programs nationwide by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Center for the Study of Social Policy, 2003
- Illinois Action for Children Community Partner, 2001 to present
- Selected for a Challenge Grant by the Kresge Foundation for the development of two new family resource centers, 2000
Awards & Recognition
We have been honored with a number of awards that recognize our quality programs, outstanding staff, strong evaluation methods, and successful partnerships with other organizations.
- Outstanding Leadership in Continuous Quality Improvement Award from the United Way of Metropolitan Chicago, 2008
- Outstanding Leadership in Continuous Quality Improvement Special Recognition from the United Way of Metropolitan Chicago, 2007 and 2006
- Community Partner Award from Illinois Action for Children, 2005
- Community Partner Star Award from Chicago Cares, 2005
- School Age Program honored by the United Way of Metropolitan Chicago's African American Outreach Committee for Outstanding Service to the African American Community, 2005
- Gail Nelson, Chief Executive Officer, Executive of the Year by the United Way of Metropolitan Chicago, 2002
- Urban Leadership Award from the Lloyd A. Fry Foundation, 2001
- James Brown IV Award of Excellence for Outstanding Community Service from The Chicago Community Trust, 1999
- Best Practice Volunteer Training Award from Tutor/Mentor Connection, 1999
- Excellence Award from the United Way of Metropolitan Chicago, 1998
Program Pilot and Replication Selection
Our track record of comprehensive, sustainable, and innovative programming has led to our selection for several key new program pilots and replications.
- Chosen by the Erikson Institute to pilot the Principles and Practices of Dual Language, 2017 – 2018
- Chosen by the Erikson Institute to pilot the EHS and PI Home Visiting Project, 2017 – 2018
- Chosen by Jumpstart for the Literacy Support Project, 2017 – 2018
- Chosen by the University of Chicago Behavioral Insights and Parenting Lab to pilot the Math for Parents and Children Together project, 2017 – 2019
- Chosen by The Chicago Community Trust Nuestro Futuro Program for the Bilingual Immersion Project, 2012 – 2013
- Chosen by the Parent-Child Home Program as the first replication site in the state of Illinois, 2007
- Chosen by Strengthening Families Illinois to lead the Chicago Learning Network, 2005
- Chosen by the Erikson Institute as a validation site for the Ounce Scale, an infant toddler assessment tool, 2005 – 2007
- Chosen by Illinois Action for Children to pilot an alternative Pre-K project, 2004
- Chosen by the Illinois Department of Human Services to pilot an odd hours child care program, 1999
- The Carole Robertson Center was founded by parents in Chicago in 1976 to save their after school program when its sponsoring organization closed.
- The organization is named in memory of Carole and the three other children killed in the 1963 bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama.
- Board is led by a constituent majority.
- NAEYC-accredited since 2004.