The Concordia Place Difference


Building bridges not safety nets

At Concordia Place we value human potential and recognize that everyone needs support at different phases in life. By proactively addressing key social needs, we provide services that support well-being and maximize potential, which in turn helps our communities to thrive and remain vibrant.


We know that by providing growth and opportunity for children, teens and adults and their families, we are making a difference not only in in individuals lives, but in communities as well. This investment in opportunity for people now (building bridges), avoids the need for costlier solutions later (safety nets). For example, every $1 invested in quality early learning for children has a $7 return. (National Institute for Early Childhood Research)

“Investing in early childhood education is a cost-effective strategy for promoting economic growth and reducing social costs.”

– James J. Heckman, Henry Schultz Distinguished Professor of Economics at The University of Chicago


Concordia Place believes all people deserve to reach their full potential and that it starts with a strong foundation. We build well-being through a wide-range of educational, enrichment, and wellness programs for young children, teens and adults, and people no matter their age or circumstance.


Everyone deserves quality

Excellence starts with our people. We have highly experienced and credentialed staff who exhibit their commitment to our mission every day. Our foundation of quality begins with building cohesive teaching teams, a strong curriculum, providing healthy foods, and having beautiful facilities. Accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and ExeleRate Gold Circle of Quality are evidence of this. As a result, families who can afford to send their children anywhere choose Concordia Place early learning and preschool for their children.

“I feel like my child got into the Harvard of Preschools when we got into Concordia Place.”

– Concordia Place parent

We believe every child deserves to learn in this world class environment regardless of their family’s ability to afford it. With approximately one-third of our families paying market rate tuition, Concordia Place offers a sliding tuition scale and accepts public subsidies for the remaining two-thirds of the children we serve.

Excellence extends beyond our children’s programs. Teen leadership received the Illinois After School Network’s 2014 Best Practices Program Award for the best out of school time program in the State. In 2013, our leadership was recognized with the Alford-Axelson Non-Profit Management Award for overall managerial excellence.


Serving the gap

We are committed to families caught in “the gap”- ineligible for public support, yet unable to afford market rate services are often times left with few options. Moreover, eligibility for public assistance programs tend to end abruptly when financial situations improve, meaning that families’ financially lose more in benefits than a promotion or a raise provides.

Concordia Place takes pride in serving families caught in the gap by offering affordable options with our sliding tuition scale. Almost 40% of the children enrolled at Concordia Place benefit from the tuition scale and receive discounts up to 50%.

“Typical day care costs in our area are $400+ per week. I only make about $500 a week at work, so I’d be absolutely unable to survive without Concordia’s sliding scale.”

– Concordia Place parent

With a priority on affordability, 70% of those we serve receive financial assistance, but only 33% of our funding is from public sources. Year over year, we self-fund our sliding tuition scale through private fundraising and by leveraging revenue from families paying market rate tuition. The sliding-tuition scale, scholarships, and the cost deficit of public subsidies totaled almost $780,000 in FY17.

In addition, Teen Leadership programs are offered free of charge.


Diversity you don't see

Simply put, segregation does not produce the best outcomes, nor is it best for children, families, or communities. Unfortunately, segregation, and especially economic segregation, is embedded into much of the nonprofit sector.

Concordia Place is changing that. Since our founding in 1981, Concordia Place has been committed to building inclusive environments that create strong foundations for families of all economic levels. With a mission “to create involved communities where all our neighbors can gather, learn, and grow,” and a Guiding Principle of “A Place for ALL,” we seek out ways to insure economic inclusion is imbedded in our programming. In fact, we developed a demonstration model for the U.S. Child Care Bureau proving economic integration is a viable way to serve low-income families.


A wide body of research underscores the improved educational experience and outcomes that integrated schools provide, not just for low-income children, but also for children from middle and upper-income families (“A New Wave of School Integration, Century Foundation, 2016).

Economic integration creates the diversity you don’t see, but by serving families across the economic spectrum, there is also a rich, multi-faceted diversity of race, ethnicity, and faith backgrounds. More than 22 languages are spoken in the homes of our families.

“Chicago is a much better place because of Concordia Place. It is a microcosm of what the city of Chicago is. It’s a melting pot where students of all different backgrounds come together, to learn, to grow, to play together, and to really make our community grow.”

– Father of Concordia Place Preschooler

Serving all ages

Concordia values the life cycle of human potential through its full scope of programming. Early Learning and Preschool, School-Age 365, Teen Leadership and Adult Enrichment serves nearly 1,000 young children, teens and adults each year. No matter what age we all need a sturdy foundation and layers of support in our lives to thrive; that’s what creates a strong community.

  • Children 6 weeks to 5 years are prepared for a life of learning in Early Learning and Preschool.
  • Parents are free to work and pursue opportunities for their families when they have access to affordable, quality care for their children. In our early learning and preschool programs, 90% of our parents report that our hours (7am-6pm) and year-round operations help them keep their jobs.
  • School-Age 365 enriches the lives of children 6 – 12 years old year-round through after- school and full-day summer camp programs.
  • Teen Leadership engages teens ages 13 – 18 in hands-on activities that build a wide- range of life skills that drive academic, career, and personal achievement to strengthen possibilities for their future. 88% of teens achieved at least 3 of 5 Personal Mindset and Planning for Success Skills based on the MHA Labs Building Blocks framework.
  • English as a Second Language classes help remove linguistic barriers for adults so they can further their education, careers, and lives. Five sessions are offered throughout the year.