Our Approach

The LUME Approach is rooted in the deep understanding that children's emotional development is the foundation for lifelong health, growth, and learning. By working directly with children and our educators, we are increasing children's opportunities to thrive and reach their full potential.


Our Impact Stories


3 Ways Your Gift Helps UCCC Now:

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We serve 200+ children per year from 30+ zip codes, representing 40+ nationalities, cultures, and ethnicities, Our need-based tuition assistance program supports more than 50% of our families and nurtures our mixed-income model, which helps us close the achievement gap and provide equitable access to our high-quality care and education.



We provide the support our children need to thrive, including prevention and promotion mental health services that develop healthy, resilient families and children. Furthermore, we developed and use the LUME Approach, a transformative model of high-quality care and education developed by UCCC and proven to make a statistically significant difference in a child's mental health and educational journey.



Our professional development opportunities are proven to enhance our teachers’ knowledge of children and have a positive impact in their classrooms. All new UCCC teachers complete an average of 75 professional development hours during their first year and veteran teachers complete an average of 50 hours per year, four times the professional development hours required by the state.


How We’re Innovating With Harvard


LUME Institute and University City Children’s Center were selected into Harvard’s Center on the Developing Child Frontiers of Innovation portfolio.

Harvard will provide continuing support and help guide our practice-based research on our professional development model through continuing technical assistance around data collection, program implementation, and data analysis.


Save On Your Taxes When You Donate


What are YOPs?

Youth Opportunity Program (YOP) tax credits are awarded by the Missouri Department of Economic Development to organizations administering positive youth development programs. UCCC has been awarded YOPs and, for a donation to UCCC of at least $1,000, eligible donors may receive a Missouri tax credit equal to 50% of the amount of the contribution. YOPs are issued on a first come, first served basis.

You can save even more by contributing publicly traded stock that has appreciated in value and which you have held for more than one year. This type of contribution will be valued at current market value and you avoid the capital gains tax.

Who is eligible?

Donors that designate an eligible gift to UCCC and are: individuals, corporations, partnerships, S-corporations, or limited liability corporations. Click here to learn more about YOPs.