“Words cannot express the culture and environment at the Nielsen Center! We have been part of many schools in a few different cities. The curriculum, the teachers, the enrichment programs, the team approach - all around first rate! ”
– Jacquie Wahlstrom, parent

From the moment you walk in the door at the Gertrude B. Nielsen Child Care and Learning Center, you know you are in a special place. A place that nurtures and respects children. You'll see children's artwork, an aviary and aquarium, plants, colors and textures that are inviting and stimulate learning. In short, an entire community developed for, and committed to, guiding children in their discovery of the world and themselves. The Gertrude B. Nielsen Child Care and Learning Center (GBN) provides quality child care and education for children from birth through kindergarten.

Each class is fully staffed from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, so that your child remains in their own room with their primary teachers throughout their day. 


In order to provide the very best, individualized approach for each child, GBN staff employ a range of developmentally appropriate teaching strategies and formulates a curriculum that represents the best of several approaches and philosophies (e.g., Reggio Emilia, Montessori, Piaget). Our curriculum is literacy-rich, play-based, and project-oriented. With the Illinois Early Learning Standards as the foundation, we give our qualified teachers the freedom to develop curriculum based on what the classroom and each child needs.


  • Low child/staff ratios in all programs
  • Administrators and teachers have extensive experience and degrees through the master's level
  • GBN is an intern site for college and university students
  • All staff is certified in CPR and First Aid and trained in allergy and asthma awareness


Since 1985, the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) has offered a national, voluntary accreditation system to set professional standards for early childhood education programs, and to help families identify high-quality programs. Today, NAEYC Accreditation represents the mark of quality in early childhood education. For more information, please visit naeyc.org. Watch a video about NAEYC accredited programs at Right Choice for Kids.


“The healthy menu and food that Nielsen provides the children is thoughtfully organized, organic (lunches) and locally grown. The teachers keep a log of everything the children eat at lunch, so I know exactly what Benjamin ate. The variety of food is also so impressive, from organic chicken to taco bar, to Thanksgiving turkey lunch. Also, every lunch has fresh fruit and vegetables. I often joke that Benjamin eats way better than I do!”
– Jennifer Ping, parent

As more and more parents enrolling in our school requested healthier foods, we began the process of improving our breakfast, lunch and snack options. Although we knew this change would be more costly, we also knew the benefits it would bring. We began searching for new catering options. We wanted to get away from school lunch programs that offered mostly processed, often times unrecognizable lunches and instead, offer nutritious food with more whole grains, fruits and veggies, and proper portion size. Learn more about our caterer and details about "going organic" at Organic Life.