The Children’s Center originated in 1978 as a pre-school and day care center, founded by students and faculty of Westbrook College. It also housed and founded the Children’s Museum of Maine, which grew into a self-sustaining operation and relocated downtown (site C22). The facility was run by students of the college’s early childhood education program and overseen by program faculty, comprised predominantly of women.
UNE bought the college and terminated the program in 2000. Parents worked in cooperation with UNE to preserve the Children’s Center as a private school. Staffed almost entirely by women, it continues to operate as a pre-school and day care center and serves as a course practicum site for the early childhood education programs at the University of Southern Maine and Southern Maine Community College.