Mary Kay McNeill Early Learning Center Opens


The Mary Kay McNeill Early Learning Center had its official building dedication on September 23rd, 2019. The Early Learning Center was named in honor of Mary Kay McNeill who joined Antioch School District 34 in 1979 as a junior high teacher at Antioch Upper Grade School (AUGS). In 1992 Mary Kay became the first female principal in District 34 and served as a school leader for 20 years, splitting her time between Antioch Elementary School and at W.C. Petty. Following her retirement from Antioch School District 34, she was elected to Antioch District 34 School Board of Education from 2013-2017. Mary Kay also served on the Antioch Public Library Board of Trustees. To honor Mary Kay’s passion for libraries, reading, and children, each child at the Early Learning Center will receive a book on their birthday, a tradition that Mary Kay began so many years ago. 

The Mary Kay McNeill Early Learning Center provides educational services to the youngest children and their families of Antioch School District 34. Beginning with our Birth to 3 preventative program, families who qualify are provided in home services to assist families with knowledge of age-appropriate child development, improved parent capacity, parenting practices, and parent-child relationships. In addition, our Birth to 3 families have the opportunity to participate in Group Connections where they come together and engage in a variety of activities such as nature walks, read alouds at the library, and science nights. 

Programming continues for children ages 3-5 through our Preschool for All (PFA) program. Our Preschool for All program provides two and a half hours of high-quality teaching and learning designed to foster social, emotional, physical, and cognitive development so that our children can achieve success in school and in later life. The Preschool for All program has 5 major components including: (1) Developmental screening and referral, (2) Educational program using research-based curriculum, (3) Parent education and involvement (4) Community collaboration, and (5) Certified staff and professional development. 

The Mary Kay McNeill Early Learning Center also provides services for students ages 3-5 with developmental delays and who are eligible for special education services. Following an evaluation, our early childhood assessment team (ECAT) as well as the child’s parents work together to develop an individualized educational plan where they identify the specially designed instruction and related services the child needs to foster social, emotional, physical, and cognitive growth. 

If you have a child between the ages of 0-3 or between 3-5 and would like to schedule a screening to determine if you qualify for preventive services or preschool services, please contact us.