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Who We Are

AAUW Preschool is a cooperative preschool where young children are respected, nurtured and encouraged. The school serves students from northern Lake County, Illinois, including Waukegan, Gurnee, Wadsworth, Beach Park and Zion, as well as southern Wisconsin. We offer a variety of half-day programs for two, three, four and five-year olds and weekly parent-child classes.

Every day at AAUW your child will have opportunities to wonder, explore and discover in our outdoor and indoor learning environments. Children walk into a classroom structured by the teacher and see a world of endless possibilities. They initiate and engage with a wide variety of materials that encompass all learning areas. Through this purposeful play, children make connections that build knowledge.

Our Mission

Our mission is to provide a comfortable, yet stimulating learning environment which values each child as an individual. We challenge each child to reach his or her potential by encouraging the development of social, emotional, intellectual, perceptual, language, and large and small motor skills.

Our History

AAUW Nursery School was founded in 1953 by the American Association of University Women who realized a need for a quality preschool in the area. They formed a small, licensed, non-profit, parent-cooperative nursery school where young children could learn, grow, and thrive. As the school grew, we became independent of the founding organization, but retained our original name and purpose. Since 1970, we have been located in a preschool designed facility in a quiet residential neighborhood on the northwest side of Waukegan. In 2013, AAUW Nursery School officially changed its name to AAUW Preschool.

Our Philosophy

We have spent more than 60 years developing and refining our goals for the children. We wish to nurture the children so that they will develop to their full potential by providing opportunities for the growth of their intellectual, social/emotional, language, perceptual, and motor development. This is implemented by a staff of educated and experienced teachers who build their program on the base of a firm understanding of child development.

We know that children learn most meaningfully through direct experience. Arousal of curiosity leads to search, search leads to discovery, and discovery leads to knowledge. Concepts strongly rooted in direct experience give accuracy and quality to a child’s thought, and we at AAUW focus our classes on providing opportunities for experimentation.

We encourage an atmosphere where children can enter in free, creative play with a minimum amount of direction. Educational studies show that creative play, that which explores and invents, is the most valuable learning method available to the preschool child.