Sleuthing Series — Children’s Center

JCCC Archives presents the Sleuthing Series, where every Tuesday, we bring you an image from our past and ask you to help us find out more!

Groundbreaking for the new Children’s Center on the west side of the JCCCcampus, April 1989.

What We Know

  • Visionary Voices: An Oral History of Johnson County College, The Early Years, is a collection of oral histories published for the College’s 25th anniversary, in 1994.  In Virginia Krebs’ remembrance, she stated:
    “Many women had been calling JCCC who wanted to come back to college.  I read that colleges on both coasts were having a lot of returning students, many of whom were women.”
  • The retrospective timeline from Visions and Venturesomeness notes, “Jan. 1979 Child Play Center opens to serve children of parents who are also students.”
  • From the Adults Unlimited Newsletter, November 1981:
    “In the fall of 1969, 34% of all students were women and the average student was 21. This fall, 60% of all the students at JCCC are women and the average age has risen to 28.  In addition, since 1979 women have outnumbered men 3-1 in the 30 and over category.”
  • The 1983 Women’s Resource Directory, published by the Adults Unlimited Program lists numerous child care, preschool, and parenting. The JCCC Child Play Center is listed as “a child care service designed for JCCC students providing planned activities and creative play for children.”  Clearly, a parent could be a more effective student, knowing their children were safe and happy.
  • In JCCC Through the Years ( 3/11/2016) under 1990, it is noted:
    “JCCC dedicated The Children’s Center, a separate structure built to house JCCC’s child-care operation.  It is open to the children of students, faculty and staff.” [emphasis added]
    “JCCC Through the Years [chronology]” published in the September 1993 Transcript adds, “The center can care for up to 80 children at a time.”
  • The February 1990 Transcript features a detailed article on “The Nurture Center.”
  • The JCCC publication Glances 1993 notes the following:
    The Children’s Center is among the first child care programs in the United States to be accredited by the National Academy of Early Childhood Programs.”
  • JCCC’s annual report for 2002-2003 announced the Hiersteiner Child Development Center:
    “In spring 2003, work began on an addition to the college’s Children’s Center that will house classrooms for preschoolers and toddlers and a classroom for students in the college’s early childhood education program; the students gain practical experience working with the children at the center. When completed in fall 2003, the center will be known as the Hiersteiner Child Development Center, named for Jean and Walter Hiersteiner, longtime supporters of the college and of education in Johnson County.  The Hiersteiners pledged $360,000 toward the expansion of the Children’s Center.  The amount was matched by the college, resulting in a $720,000 expansion budget.
  • The 2003-2004 annual report announced the dedication of the Hiersteiner Child Development Center reaccredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children through February 2008 and with a capacity for 104 children.

What We Don’t Know

  • Though the Child Play Center was opened in January 1979, we have many sets of photos back to the early 1970s which appear to show child daycare activities.

If You Know More…

Contact  librarians: Anita Gordon Gilmore (, ext. 4369) or John Russell (, ext. 3284).  You may also comment below!

Pictures taken after 2001 are available from College Photography.

For More Information…

From mid-September 1973, nearly six years before the Child Play Ceter would open.
Birthday celebration for Mickey Mouse, January 1979.
Birthday celebration for Mickey Mouse, January 1979.
Activities in the new Child Play Center, March 1979.
Activities in the new Child Play Center, March 1979.
Activities in the new Child Play Center, March 1979.
Groundbreaking for The Children’s Center, April 1989.
Groundbreaking for The Children’s Center, April 1989.
Groundbreaking for The Children’s Center, April 1989.
Groundbreaking for The Children’s Center, April 1989.
Construction almost complete, November 1989.
Small minds and bodies bloom in JCCC’s new Children’s Center. (Transcript, February 1990)


Play is the order of the day at JCCC’s Children’s Center. (Transcript, February 1990)
There’s time to be quiet and time to be noisy. (Transcript, February 1990)
Although there’s a daily routine of activities, actual projects are determined by the children’s interests. (Transcript, February 1990)
All the center’s activities are intended to promote a child’s development. (Transcript, February 1990)
Fenced-in areas allow the kids to play outside. (Transcript, February 1990)
The guests arrive. Children’s Center dedication, May 2, 1990.
Guests of honor. Children’s Center dedication, May 2, 1990.
Ribbon cutting, from left to right: President Carlsen, and Board of Trustees members, Dr. Hugh Spear, Dr. Robert (Bob) Fry, Molly Baumgardner, Virginia Krebs. Children’s Center dedication, May 2, 1990.
Shows the location of the Children’s Center in relation to the Red Barn. Children’s Center dedication, May 2, 1990.