Chicago Early Learning Portal

Chicago Early Learning LogoChicago Early Learning is the City of Chicago's Early Learning Portal, where residents can easily find and compare early learning programs side-by-side. 

The site provides information about high-quality early learning programs and has a custom search tool with pre-populated location names and a custom filter to find the best choice for you and your family. Parents and caregivers can do side-by-side comparisons of locations to choose the best option for them. Once parents have compared and selected centers, they are directed to the City of Chicago's application system with their top choices.

The entire site, including data elements and navigation, available in English and Spanish. All code and data driving the site is completely open source, including a full API of the data that drives the site, updated nightly.

This project is funded by a grant administered by The Chicago Community Trust through the One Chicago Fund.

Recent News

Launch of New Chicago Early Learning Preschool Application System

On July 1, 2016, the City of Chicago launched an online application system for parents to apply for preschool programs ...

Chicago Launches First Universal Preschool Application

On May 16, 2016, the City of Chicago launched its first universal preschool application to help more families enroll in ...

Chicago Early Learning Finder at ChiHackNight

For the August 11th #ChiHackNight, mRelief, the City of Chicago's Cara Bader and our own Sonja Marziano talked about the ...

Compare & Contact Feature in Chicago Early Learning

Today, Smart Chicago is launching a new feature on the Chicago Early Learning portal that will help parents kick off ...

Chicago Early Learning Phase Three

We're deep into work on the next phase of our Chicago Early Learning. The key work here is to turn ...

The Glories of User Testing: Chicago Early Learning

In late 2012, after a short development process, we launched an initial version of our project called Chicago Early Learning ...

The Chicago Early Learning Portal: A One-Stop Shop to Find Important Data About Chicago’s Early Childhood Programs (Azavea Journal)

The Chicago Early Learning Portal: A One-Stop Shop. Snip: An interesting challenge the design team will face in the upcoming ...

Chicago Launches Website to Help Parents Find Preschool Programs (Education Week)

Here's an article about Chicago Early Learning in Education Week. Snip: The website, complete with an interactive map, helps parents ...

City Offers Early Learning Info Online (CBS Chicago)

Snip: If you’re looking for early education programs for your kids, the City of Chicago has a new, online tool ...

The Launch of Chicago Early Learning

Today marked the launch of Chicago Early Learning, a new way to find and compare early learning programs in Chicago ...

Mayor’s Office Press Release on the Launch of Chicago Early Learning

Mayor Emanuel Unveils Online Early Learning Portal to Help Parents and Families Find Quality Programs for Children in Their Neighborhoods: ...

Request for Letters of Interest for an Early Childhood Portal

The Smart Chicago Collaborative and the University of Chicago’s Urban Education Lab are seeking letters of interest for the design ...


This project is managed by Sonja Marziano. Andrew Briggs is the lead developer. 

Gabrielle Lyon served as project manager and Scott Robbin was the lead developer for the start of the Phase 3 workAzavea completed the first two phases of work in this project, and DataMade provided data management services in phase one. Daniel X. O'Neil led the project's strategy, testing, and technology for the first three phases.


City of Chicago

The City of Chicago is the most important policy lever in the Chicago region and they are a critical partner ...


Contact the Chicago Mayor's Office with press inquiries about the site itself.

October 2013 User Testing Results

Portal Review at Colman Elementary

Early Childhood Education Portal Site Review at Colman Elementary


Chicago Early Learning Homepage

Search page

Chicago Early Learning Search Page