About Us

Compassionate & Professional Child Care

At Children First Learning Center Foundation, we understand that children are born with a natural curiosity about the world. That is why we tailor our programs to offer learning through active exploration and interaction with adults, children, and other materials.

Serving children in Crown Point, IN, our teachers and child care professionals recognize each child’s individual needs and are dedicated to providing age-appropriate care. With an emphasis on safety and security, we offer a hands-on approach that encourages children to grow with self-confidence and a strong sense of self-direction.

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Children First Learning Center, Inc. was established in 2004 by Candace D. Ziese, with the help of her husband, Kenneth Ziese. Ken and Candace have one very active son named, Kenny. It was the lack of quality childcare for Kenny, which inspired Candace to start Children First Learning Center.

As a not-for-profit, Indiana state licensed center, the center was created to offer quality childcare and education for children ages 6 weeks through 10 years. The center later expanded in 2008 to include the for-profit Pre-Kindergarten/Kindergarten Turtle House, which serves children from ages 4 to 6 and is located in the house next to the main building. In 2010, the nonprofit Children First Learning Center Foundation was created. Then in 2017, Candace partnered with her son Kenneth Ziese to open the for-profit Children First Learning Center Home Care opened.

As the owner of CFLC Inc. and director of CFLC Foundation, Candace takes great pride in being able to offer personalized care due to her ability to be hands-on in the daily operations at the center.

Board Members


Candace Ziese



Susan Bieker

Vice President


Keith Anderson

Board Member


Jason Kleine



Nathalie Mayer


Our Philosophy

Learning Through Play

Early childhood research shows that young children learn primarily through play, an essential part of childhood. It offers the freedom children need to try new ideas, practice developing skills, and imitate adult roles, all while learning social skills and developing friendships. Children are knowledge builders, and will apply what they have already learned to different situations. Exploring, discovering, questioning, and guessing are important activities which help children to learn and become the active decision-makers in their own scenarios.

Supporting Growth in Every Way

Our center promotes the development of the child through play. We believe that children learn through active hands-on involvement with materials, equipment, and activities. During active play, a child’s mind, body, and emotions develop. We also encourage children to be independent in basic care routines (e.g. brushing teeth, going to the bathroom, etc.), because these routines can provide meaningful learning opportunities as well.

Our goal is to provide a stimulating, sensitive environment that supports the child’s social, emotional, physical, and cognitive growth. Children learn how to form positive, caring, and cooperative relationships by interacting with children and adults. Through these interactions, children learn to get along with others.

The Key to Future Development

When a child experiences success in play and is encouraged to make choices, communicate thoughts and feelings in a positive way, and accept responsibility for actions, the child learns social skills needed throughout life. Early childhood play experiences affect learning and personal growth throughout life. Thus, our objective is to assist families in the task of providing a strong foundation for their child’s future development.


We are currently accepting applications for employment. We are always interested in highly motivated, energetic, well-disciplined, and personable applicants that love working with children. Please inquire within the main building for an application. Education and age requirements do apply.

To apply online, fill out the following application and email it to candy@cflc.org

Learn about our scholarship for graduates or contact us today!

For more information about our child care and education programs, contact us today!

Children First Learning Center Foundation

807 Merrillville Road
Crown Point, IN 46307


Phone: 219-663-3678
Fax: 219-663-6706
Email: candy@cflc.org


Monday - Friday 6:00AM - 6:00PM