history

On April 1, 1925 Amarillo Day nurseries was organized on a trial basis at 707 Fillmore by the Potter County Federation of Women’s Clubs.  The nursery moved into its new home at 401 Van Buren on September 26, 1926.  This attractive English Cottage type home was the gift of Mr. and Mrs. Allen Early.  The nursery was expanded with the addition of a toddler unit in 1941 and again in 1942 when an infant unit was added. An article appeared in the Amarillo Globe on October 11, 1939 on the nurseries and included this quote “the Amarillo Day Nursery is a home to 50 or more babies and young children whose mothers find it necessary to leave their own household duties to support their families”. Amarillo Day Nurseries was incorporated on March 31, 1931 for 25 years.  This was amended on March 18, 1966 to perpetual. From 1926 to 1942 the Board of Directors of the Social Welfare Association was the governing body.  The Child Study Clubs sponsored the nurseries. The Negro Day Nursery opened in 1943 at 310 W. 2nd in the annex of the Mt. Zion Baptist Church.  Mrs. Mary Elizabeth Bivins donated five lots on which a permanent building was constructed.  The nursery moved to 101 Monroe on November 30, 1947.  The Pilot Club gave $250 for the building, which was  purchased, from the Hereford Interment Camp.  This location was closed on July 8, 1968. ​Mrs. R.B. Masterson gave a home located at 804 N. Pierce to be moved to 702 N. Johnson.  It was completely remodeled in a project by the North Amarillo Kiwanis Club.  The new nursery was named after Will Rogers and opened in August 1945.  C.M. Williams donated the lots for the new nursery.  The new nursery was the original idea of E.L. Hunter, an area educator.  Mr. Hunter felt working mothers in that area needed a nursery for their children. The fourth of Amarillo Day Nurseries was opened on August 13, 1952 in a home bought from Mrs. Alma Clayton at 1700 Van Buren.  By February 1957 the nursery had outgrown the original seven-room house and directors broke ground for the new nursery.  The new building was named in honor of Mary Miles Batson, who headed the fund raising drive.On March 22, 1959 Watley North Heights Day Nursery was opened at 1208 N. W. 13th on lots donated by Mrs. Ozela Watley. Plans were announced in September 1963 to build a new day nursery in east Amarillo with excess funds from the polio immunization campaigns during 1962 on land leased for 50 years from the City of Amarillo.  The Potter Randall County Medical Society donated the funds.  The nursery was named after E. L. Hunter.  The building was the original Will Rogers Nursery and moved to this location.



In 1964, a new building was constructed for Will Rogers Day Nursery, McLellan Day Nursery (named after Bertha McLellan) and an addition was added to Watley Day Nursery with funds donated by the Kilgore Foundation.

In May 1985 the name was changed to Children’s Learning Centers of Amarillo, Inc.  In 1986 CLC was merged with the YWCO and the administrative offices were moved to 1006 S. Jackson.  Childcare was also available in this building. In 1989 a Kindercare building at 2404 S.W. 45th was purchased and became Hopson Learning Center.  In 1993 the center was rededicated the Pavillard Learning Center.  Patricia Pavillard and her son Dan Pavillard donated funds to the center.  The center was renovated and an addition added with a grant from the Amarillo Area Foundation. 1993 was a busy year for Children’s Learning Centers.  The Lawrence R. Hagy Child Care Center was opened in the medical complex with CLC managing and staffing the center.  The Hazel Kelley Wilson Infant Center was renovated and opened in the former family home of the Kelley family located at 1701 Van Buren. Mrs. Wilson and the Kelley family donated the home.  The YWCO building was renamed the Sybil B. Harrington Center in honor of Mrs. Harrington and her many contributions to CLC over many years

In 1994 the Herzstein Learning Center opened at 2500 Folsom Rd.   The Ethel and Albert Herzstein Living Trust made this center possible for construction and land from the Loewenstern Family. In 1995 the Hazel Kelley Wilson Toddler Center was opened at 313 W. 17th.  This duplex was also given to CLC by Mrs. Wilson and the Kelley Family.  It was completely remodeled by donations from Ken Kelley, Sharon Oscheger and Judy K. Morgan. In 1996 a grant from the Amarillo Area Foundation updated Mary Miles Learning Center.

In 1998 a grant from the Amarillo Area Foundation renovated the McLellan Learning Center.

In September 2000 a 75th anniversary celebration was held in the gym of the Sybil B.Harrington Center.

In 2000, ground was broken for the eleventh center located at 2500 Dale Street.  This center was made possible by an endowment from Mrs. Sybil B. Harrington.  Don and Donny Mason donated the lots on Dale Street.  The center was named the Sybil B. Harrington Learning Center and opened in November. Renovations were begun on the Will Rogers Learning Center in the Fall, 2000 with grant money from the Amarillo Area/Harrington Foundation.

The Gilliland Family Partnership Group presented CLC with a lot directly across the street from the Sybil B. Harrington Center on Jackson Street.  A new playground was completed with individual donations and an anonymous grant.
In April 2001 the E.L. Hunter Learning Center was demolished because of structural damage.  The lot remains empty at 2706 Tee Anchor and is currently for sale. In September 2003 Kimble Learning Center opened at 2200 E. 10th.  This building was purchased with a grant from the City of Amarillo Community Development at half the appraised cost from the Gilliland Family Partnership Group.  Renovation and remodeling was made possible by donations from Mr. and Mrs. Jerry Kimble, the Brumley Foundation and several other donations.


In November, 2003 1006 S. Jackson was sold. The administrative offices, board room and client services offices moved into a new building directly to the east of the Kimble Learning Center at 2300 Tee Anchor Blvd.  This building was purchased with a grant from the Brumley Foundation The Herzstein Learning Center was closed on March 1, 2005.  It was not economically feasible to keep this building open.  All staff and children were transferred to other CLC centers.
In April 2005 the 80th anniversary of CLC was recognized and the Kimble Learning Center dedicated.
During the spring and summer of 2007 the interior of the Pavillard Learning Centers was renovated.   Funds for this renovation were raised at the 2006 Poinsettia Luncheon.
In November 2007 the Herzstein building was sold. The McLellan Learning Center was recently renovated with funds raised at the 2007 Poinsettia Luncheon. In December of 2009 Children’s Learning Centers welcomed its newest addition to the family.  Curtis-Flemming Learning Center was opened on December 15, 2009 in cooperation with First Christian Church of Amarillo.