Early Learning Services


The Ironbound Early Learning Center (ELC) is located at 1 New York Avenue. The Center has two FREE programs serving children (from birth to 5 years old) and their families.

Hours of operation have been modified due to the pandemic. Please call (973) 589-6873 for more information.


ELC’s programs are nationally accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).NAEYC administers the largest and most widely recognized accreditation system for all types of early childhood programs and child care centers and is the nation’s largest organization of early childhood educators. The Criteria for accreditation can be found on the NAEYC’s website

A collage of kids at school

The Center is in a new, 35,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility that is a safe, secure, nurturing, and meaningful learning environment for children. The Center has separate playgrounds for each program, large classrooms with up-to-date technology, a large community room for meetings and events, and a kitchen and staff that provides fresh and healthy meals daily. Watch our video below and learn about the measures we have taken to keep your children safe during Covid-19:

ELC empowers families and staff, at school and at home, to help children grow and learn. We ensure the healthy growth and development of each child – intellectually, socially, emotionally and physically. We prepare children to be competent and successful learners who will contribute to our diverse community and become positive, active members of society.

Staff are well-trained and certified in their individual areas, family and social workers provide family support, staff and partners provide intervention services to address special needs.

Parents and families are warmly welcomed every day and at any time, and families have access to all other ICC services

This unique 0-5 campus and model for early care and education enables ICC to provide the ideal continuum of high quality, comprehensive Birth-5 services that provide the basic foundation for life- long happiness, success and love of learning.


National studies have found that the first five years of life, and in particular the first two years regarding brain development, are critical to the development of a child’s ability to understand language and acquire the social skills needed to succeed in school. When young children are responded to with love; when adults talk to them, answer their endless questions, find ways to encourage them safely to explore; and when they are in safe and secure surroundings that stimulate their curiosity, children thrive.

Studies have also found that children growing up in poverty and in at-risk environments often lack the support needed to ensure healthy growth and development. By any measure, a child growing up in Newark, NJ, including in the Ironbound, is at serious risk, disproportionately to most other children in this state. At ICC’s Early Learning Center: nearly 70% of children are from families at or below the Poverty Level ($24,000 for a family of 4).

It is no surprise, therefore, that past studies indicate that children entering ICC’s Preschool are 18-24 months behind in language and literacy development as well as having other particular, special needs. These lags in development are also referred to as an “achievement gap”. And since an achievement gap is generally the case for disadvantaged children, ICC also considers this a Social Justice issue.

The aim of the Ironbound Early Learning Center is to close this achievement gap through comprehensive, high quality birth-5 care and education for children, including early intervention, and supportive services to strengthen family development. Children “graduating” from ELC will be Kindergarten-ready in all domains: cognitive, social, emotional, physical, and language.