Meeting the needs of island families since 1974
1974: The school was founded. A group of Sanibel parents founded the Children's Education Center of the Islands in June of 1974. Parents of three and four year olds wanted their children to have group social activities and preparing for kindergarten. They designed a self-sustaining parent co-op and obtained use of the old Bailey's General Store, then still on the bay at the end of Bailey Road (now restored and part of the Sanibel Historical Village)
1980: The move to Casa Ybel. The school moved to Casa Ybel Road in 1980. The Sanibel Lions Club and the Bailey family donated the five acres of land and the Casa Ybel Resort donated two guest cottages, which were then joined together to create our main building.
1992: 2-year-old programs added. Sanibel's Island Preschool lost the use of its building during the summer of 1992. Since the Children's Education Center had always provided articulation and support for the Island Preschool, we decided to bring its 2-year-old program into our curriculum.
1997: Second building added. We added our second building in June 1997. Thompson Hall was originally an island home that was donated to the school in 1993. The building was named after Larry Thompson and his wife, Kathie, our Board President during the rehabilitation process. Today this building houses our Pre-K classes.
2014: Our 40th year! The Children's Education Center is proudly "celebrating 40 years of dedication to education" as of June 2014.