The original program was opened on January 16, 1972, on the east side of campus, through the combined efforts of students, members of the Circle Women’s Liberation Union and interested faculty and staff who wanted low-cost, on-campus child care for students, faculty, and staff. In 1974, the University assumed full responsibility for Circle Children’s Center (the original name) following the awarding of an honorary degree to Swiss psychologist Jean Piaget.
The Center was assigned to the College of Education, and the University provided space, as well as an operating subsidy, so that the Center could continue its sliding fee scale based on family income and other financial resources. In 1981, the Center was transferred to Campus Auxiliary Services. In 1984, through the efforts of the Chancellor’s Committee on the Status of Women, the Center expanded its services to the west side of campus. The second site was opened on September 17, 1984. In 2012, financial and operational challenges made it necessary to consolidate the two sites. Today the Children’s Center operates out of the west site location.