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UCP of Central Arizona’s Early Learning Center (ELC) is a high quality, developmentally appropriate learning environment serving children ages 6 weeks to 5 years of age with and without disabilities. 

Although most of the children at the Early Learning Center are developing without delays, 30% of the children have physical delays that may be related to a disability. The ELC provides a unique inclusive environment that creates high expectations for every child, regardless of ability, to reach his or her full potential.

Children with disabilities are challenged by their classmates through natural role modeling of developmental skills. The children without disabilities learn acceptance and understanding of others who are different from themselves through opportunities for friendship. 

Our inclusive environment fosters empathy at an early age, preparing all the children socially and emotionally with invaluable life skills. Our creative, comprehensive curriculum prepares every child for the future goal of kindergarten.

The UCP ELC is open from 6:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.  Part time and full time care is available. For information on rates, please call us at 602-682-1880 or 602-682-1840.

Hours of Operation

The UCP Early Learning Center is open from 6:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Part time and full time care is available. For information on rates, please call us at 602-682-1880 or 602-682-1840.

Preparing Your Child for the World

UCP of Central Arizona’s Early Learning Center (ELC) is a high quality developmentally appropriate learning environment serving children ages 6 weeks to 5 years of age with and without disabilities. The UCP ELC is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and Quality First. Our ELC is a 5-Star Quality First Center.

Although most of the children at the Early Learning Center are developing without delays, 30% of the children have physical delays that may be related to a disability. The ELC provides a unique inclusive environment that creates high expectations for every child, regardless of ability, to reach his or her full potential. Children with disabilities are challenged by their classmates through natural role modeling of developmental skills. The children without disabilities learn acceptance and understanding of others who are different from themselves through opportunities for friendship. The ELC’s inclusive environment sets the program apart by fostering empathy at an early age, preparing all the children socially and emotionally with invaluable life skills. Our creative, comprehensive curriculum prepares every child for the future goal of kindergarten.

As the UCP ELC staff are knowledgeable in child development, each child is placed in the appropriate classroom not only according to age but ability. Children are routinely screened using the following assessment tools: Ages & Stages Questionnaires® (ASQ) and Teaching Strategies Gold®

The Early Learning Center has low staff to children ratios to allow children to be engaged in learning opportunities within age and developmentally appropriate groups. The ELC strives to stay within the following NAEYC low teacher to child ratios to serve children according to best practices.

The beautiful Laura Dozer Center’s theme is the Enchanted Forest which invites children to play and imagine. The UCP ELC has outdoor play area covered by trees, state of the art playground equipment and a water play area for warm days. The Preschool area has a garden that the children can learn about growing plants. A herb garden on the campus used by the ELC chef also provides learning opportunities. The classrooms and play areas have been designed for safety and to ensure a healthy environment for the children. Our playground and classrooms are accessible according to American with Disabilities Act (ADA) and provide opportunities for all children to have the ability to participate.

The UCP ELC is open from 6:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.  Part time and full time care is available. For information on rates, please call us at 602-682-1880 or 602-682-1840.

We're not Just Cerebral Palsy

Did you know?

UCP Helps Children With Many Disabilities

Our Therapists Can Help Children with the Following

Sensory Processing Disorders

  • Sensory Modulation Disorder: Sensory Over-Responsive, Sensory Under-Responsive, Sensory Craving
  • Sensory-Based Motor Disorder:
  • Postural Disorder
  • Dyspraxia
  • Sensory Discrimination Disorder

Autism Spectrum Disorders

  •  Autistic Disorder
  • Asperger’s Syndrome
  • Pervasive Developmental Disorder

Birth Defects

  • Spina Bifida
  • Cleft Lip/Palate
  • Hydrocephaly
  • Congenital Heart Defects
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Intraventricular Hemorrhage
  • Microcephaly
  • And other birth defects

Sensory Processing Disorders

Feeding Disorders

  • Swallowing Disorders
  • Dependence on Tube Feeding
  • Failure to Thrive
  • Food Aversions

Orthopedic Disabilities

  • Arthrogryposis
  • Infant Torticollis With/out Plagiocephaly
  • Brachial Plexus Injury
  • Club Feet
  • Congenital Hip Dysplasia
  • And other orthopedic disabilities

Attention Disorders

  • Attention Deficit Disorders
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Prenatal Substance Exposure

  • Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
  • Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome

Developmental Delays

  • Motor Delays
  • Adaptive Delays
  • Social/ Emotional Delays
  • Speech and Language Delays
  • Intellectual Delays

Are you troubled that your child responds differently to sensation than other children? Does your child react negatively to sounds or bright lights or doesn’t like messy play? Is your child fearful with movement or seek out excessive swinging, spinning or rough play? Deficits in sensory processing, poor body awareness and muscle weakness may make it difficult for your child to hop, skip, catch a ball, color, cut with scissors, use a spoon to eat or even dress like children the same age. The UCP OT team can help your child overcome sensory and motor challenges to be successful and confident in their daily lives. UCP’s therapists will use fun activities to improve processing of sensory information, overall strength and coordination, motor planning, coordination of the two sides of the body, visual perceptual skills, visual motor skills and hand skills. Our OT team can help children use the sensory and motor information they receive from their body and their world around them to be independent in life’s simple childhood tasks such as play, self-help and learning. With the UCP OT Team’s help, your child can overcome life’s challenges with the just right challenge!

Whether the concern for your child is picky eating, poor breast or bottle feeding, failure to thrive, food allergies, intolerance to textures, difficulty chewing, or even transitioning from G-tube to oral feeding, help can be found at the UCP Feeding Clinic. Our trained feeding therapists can assist in addressing the entire feeding experience beginning from birth, and even on to adolescence. The team understands that diagnoses such as premature birth, food allergies, and other developmental delays can significantly interrupt typical feeding and swallowing development. Our feeding clinic team uses a variety of play based feeding therapy techniques and a multi-disciplinary, sensory-oral approach with the guidance of an occupational therapist and a speech therapist. Through this approach, our team will teach kids to have positive experiences with food, learn mealtime routines with their families, increase tolerance to the smell, touch and taste of food, increase the range and volume of food they will eat and increase the skills it takes to tolerate age appropriate foods. Our experienced feeding therapists will work together with parents, caregivers, and medical professionals to attain the results your child needs. Let UCP Feeding Clinic be the last stop to your child’s feeding challenges and the first step to becoming a successful eater! Use UCP’s checklist to see if your child might benefit from a feeding evaluation.

UCP of Central Arizona is pleased to announce we are the proud recipient of an Arizona Lottery Grant to fund scholarships for children birth to 12 years of age who need speech and language therapy or feeding therapy. The scholarship qualifications are not determined by the family’s income, rather related to the lack of insurance coverage for speech and language therapy. It may be a family who has insurance but cannot afford the ongoing therapy because of deductibles or the child doesn’t have the diagnosis to cover the therapy but there is a feeding or speech concern. If you believe your child may be a candidate for the scholarship, you can call Laura Hazy, Clinic Manager, at 602-682-1893 or email her at [email protected]

If you are concerned about your child’s large motor skills, UCPs PT team may be able to help. Muscle weakness, abnormally low or high muscle tone, limited movement in joints or poor balance may prevent your child from walking, running, playing on playground equipment or climbing stairs. Our PTs help children be independent. UCP’s highly trained therapists are skilled in facilitating movement and mobility to improve a child’s motor development and function by using fun age appropriate activities to increase a child’s strength and endurance, motor learning, balance and coordination. Our PT team knows how to create learning opportunities using play to address physical challenges children may face in their daily lives. Our team can also help children and their families with positioning, techniques, transferring and lifting, obtaining orthotics/prosthetics, purchasing adaptive equipment and using assistive technology. The UCP PT team can help your child overcome to live life without limitations!

Are you worried that your child is not talking, not talking in complete sentences or are hard to understand? UCP SLP team help children, who do not talk like other children their age, do not follow directions, have difficulty getting words out, appear to stutter, have hoarse voices or speech is affected by hearing impairment. Our SLP facilitate children’s speech and language skills by focusing on the “how-to” of talking including making sounds, pronunciation and the coordination of mouth muscles and movements to produce speech. Our SLP team knows how to help children understand what they see or hear and overcome struggles with finding the right words or organizing words in a meaningful way. They can help your child to communicate their special message or simply hold a conversation with you. When a child can communicate their wants, needs and thoughts, frustration can be prevented that sometimes leads to negative behaviors. Your child can overcome these challenges to grow in both understanding and speaking words with help from our UCP SLP team!

UCP of Central Arizona is pleased to announce we are the proud recipient of an Arizona Lottery Grant to fund scholarships for children birth to 12 years of age who need speech and language therapy or feeding therapy. The scholarship qualifications are not determined by the family’s income, rather related to the lack of insurance coverage for speech and language therapy. It may be a family who has insurance but cannot afford the ongoing therapy because of deductibles or the child doesn’t have the diagnosis to cover the therapy but there is a feeding or speech concern. If you believe your child may be a candidate for the scholarship, you can call Laura Hazy, Clinic Manager, at 602-682-1893 or email her at [email protected]

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    Creating Everyday Miracles for Children and Adults with Disabilities

    Contact us

    1802 West Parkside Lane
    Phoenix, AZ 85027

    (602) 943-5472
    (888) 943-5472

    [email protected]