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Children and Teacher in Kindergarten



Providing high quality, early childhood education in downtown Portland since 1981


Learn. Discover. Love. Play. Grow. These are just a few of the important things that happen each day at St. James Child Development Center. Since our founding, we’ve focused on supporting children at each milestone of their development.  

All activities are designed to nurture the emotional and intellectual growth of the children in our care. Through stimulating experiences and hands-on learning opportunities, young children are free to develop into bright young minds.



In 1981, St. James Lutheran Church opened the Child Development Center. The church investigated many social service possibilities before deciding that providing high quality child care in a downtown location would best reflect the congregation’s goal of involvement in the surrounding community.

The Child Development Center is licensed to care for 140 children each day ranging in age from 6 weeks through kindergarten.  


We believe that children thrive in an environment that values their own uniqueness, while providing support and opportunities to grow emotionally, socially and creatively. By building on each child’s strengths, interests and curiosities, we guide each child to explore the world around them as well as develop new abilities and form close relationships.



The educational programs at St. James Child Development Center were created with children’s needs in mind: to mature and develop in a safe yet stimulating environment. At St. James, we utilize The Creative Curriculum by Teaching Strategies in our daily routines.  Creative Curriculum is the most widely used research based, early learning curriculum available.  Take a look below to learn more about each program.


The Creative Curriculum® for Infants, Toddlers & Twos supports the development of the whole child with high-quality, comprehensive resources for intentionally teaching and caring for our youngest learners during these most critical and formative years of development.

Daily routines and meaningful learning experiences in mathematics, language and literacy, cognitive and physical development, science and technology, the arts, social studies, English-language acquisition, and social-emotional learning shape today’s children as tomorrow’s leaders.


We build children’s confidence, creativity, and critical thinking skills through hands-on, project-based investigations. Children are encouraged to engage in discovery and inquiry with opportunities for children to think critically and develop process skills with rich, hands-on investigations of relevant and interesting topics in the classroom.


Kindergarten at St. James is a unique experience, with an incredibly small class size of just ten children. Children spend their day exploring literacy, mathematics, science, art, dramatic play and outside time.  

Our program utilizes the same curriculum and philosophies as public school programs, making the transition to first grade exceptionally easy.  

Check out all of the amazing learning taking place in class by viewing Miss Noelle's kindergarten blog: 




5 days per week      $1,892/month 
4 days per week      $1,804/month
3 days per week      $1,700/month


5 days per week      $1,562/month 
4 days per week      $1,530/month
3 days per week      $1,475/month


Typical closures include, but are not limited to:  New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, President’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, the Friday after Thanksgiving Day, Winter Break.  The center closes the Friday before Memorial Day and the Friday before Labor Day for Teacher In-Service Days.

Wooden Toy Clock


Monday through Friday
8:00am to 5:00pm


Your donation helps greatly as we strive to provide high quality care to young families.  Tuition alone does not cover all costs associated with operation of the school.  We are incredibly thankful to have such wonderful support from donors like you, who truly believe in the great work that St. James Child Development Center does each day.

St. James Lutheran Church and its mission, St. James Child Development Center, is recognized as a nonprofit organization by the IRS.  IRS code section:  501 (c)(3).

Federal Tax Identification Number:  93-0480596


Interested in learning more about St. James Child Development Center? Please feel free to get in touch, and a member of our team will get back to you as soon as possible.  

Patrick Earnest

Center Director

1315 SW Park Ave, Portland, OR 97201, USA

(503) 227-2439

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