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Daycare - Infants + Toddlers

Daycare Near You

Daycares for Infants and Toddlers in Lakeland + Polk County

Looking for a daycare for your infant, baby, or toddler? Below you’ll find a directory of local childcare providers that accept children starting as early as 6 weeks.

For more information on Child Care Options including VPK, holiday camps, and articles explaining the different types of child care providers, visit our main Childcare Guide.

Helpful Articles: 

Useful Resources:

  • DCF Childcare Search – Childcare facilities in Florida are licensed by the Department of Children & Families. Visit the link to research local providers.
  • Polk Early Learning Coalition Website – The ELC has a wealth of information on their website including How to Select a Child Care Provider, Applications for VPK Certificates, Eligibility for School Readiness Funds, and much more.

We recognize that finding a daycare with available space can be a daunting task. If after contacting the daycares on your list you are still having trouble finding an opening, visit the Lakeland Moms Group on Facebook and to ask your fellow moms if they know of a preschool or daycare with availability. Also, if you are pregnant and will need infant care, it is never too early to start looking for a daycare, many will put you on a waiting list based on your due date.

Our Preschool & Daycare Guide contains both sponsored and free listings. This is by no means a comprehensive list, there are almost 400 registered child care providers in Polk County. Visit myflfamilies.com for a full list.

Use the map at the bottom to find Daycare – Infants + Toddlers Near You.

Bright Imaginations Learning Center
3915 Old Road 37, Lakeland, Florida 33813
6075 Florida Avenue South, Lakeland, Florida 33813
Brilliant Minds Early Learning Academy
5900 Sundance Boulevard East, Mulberry, Florida 33860
Early Learning Coalition of Polk County

The Early Learning Coalition of Polk County is a not-for-profit agency focused on early education and care. The goal of the Coalition is to prepare all children to enter kindergarten ready to succeed.
The ELC administers the VPK program for Polk County, visit their website to apply for your VPK certificate and learn more about how to select a VPK provider.
The School Readiness Program is also available through various participating child care providers. Eligibility is based on total family income and parents must be working or going to school. The program serves children from 6 weeks to 12 years of age. Fees are assessed based on a sliding fee scale. Hours of child care are determined by each child care provider.

115 South Missouri Avenue, Lakeland, Florida 33815
Family Learning Center
1509 West Memorial Boulevard, Lakeland, Florida 33815
First Steps Preschool (First United Methodist Church)
72 Lake Morton Dr, Lakeland, Florida 33801
Hands & Hearts In Motion
3330 Winter Lake Rd, Lakeland, Florida 33803
Head of the Class Childcare Center

Welcome to Head of the Class Learning Center! We have served families in Lakeland for over 15 years and go above and beyond other preschools to ensure every child is healthy, safe, engaged, supported and challenged. Our private school (k-5) offers differentiated learning to effectively challenge each student, ensures a close relationship with students and families and prepares students for their future.

1836 Kathleen Road, Lakeland, Florida 33805
Little Einstein Preschool
3034 Atlantic Avenue, Lakeland, Florida 33803
1123-1165 1st Street South, Winter Haven, Florida 33880
Little Shepherds at First Presbyterian Church
175 Lake Hollingsworth Dr, Lakeland, Florida 33801
Little Sprouts Preschool
926 South Tennessee Avenue, Lakeland, Florida 33803
Precious Children in the Highlands Preschool at Presbyterian Church in the Highlands
1010 Lake Miriam Dr, Lakeland, Florida 33813
Publix Child Development Center
345 N Galloway Rd, Lakeland, Florida 33815
Small Wonders Child Development Center at Highland Park Church
4777 Lakeland Highlands Rd, Lakeland, Florida 33813
Excel Christian Academy (Infant - 12th grade)

Excel Christian Academy opened its doors as Lake Wire Christian Academy in 1974 with a single preschool class and has since grown to a community of more than 400 students, from infants to high school seniors. Located on a 26-acre campus in Lakeland, Excel Christian Academy is a ministry of Free Life Chapel, and under its dedicated and inspiring leadership, has high hopes and great vision for the future in “Pursuing Excellence with Honor.”

What makes your school unique?
At Excel Christian Academy, the emphasis is for each child from PreK-high school to realize his or her God-given potential, developing confidence and self-awareness, creativity and curiosity, and a deep understanding of community and connectedness to others. A robust, well-rounded curriculum with talented and engaging teachers and an energetic and diverse peer group provides students endless opportunities to discover their passions and talents. Our commitment to the core values of Creativity, Honor, Diversity, Excellence, and Generosity ensures the social/emotional, academic, physical and spiritual needs of each child are met. Visual and performing arts promote confidence and creativity. Physical education classes include Archery and Taekwondo. Athletic teams include JV/Varsity Volleyball, Basketball, Flag Football, and Soccer.

Ages/Grades Served:
Excel Christian Academy’s Early Childhood Center accepts infants and children from 6 weeks through 4 years old (PreK4). Excel Christian Academy serves students from Kindergarten-12th grade.

Open Houses or Tours:
   Prospective families are invited to schedule tours (currently virtual) on the school website at https://www.excelonline.org/schedule-your-tour or call the Office of Admissions at 863-853-9235.

Affiliations: International League of Christian Schools, Florida League of Christian Schools (FLOCS)

Accreditation:  AdvancEd/SACS

School Hours: 6:30 am- 6:00

School Schedule: 7:50 am to 3:20 pm (with aftercare until 6pm for an additional fee)

Registration Dates / Details:
Preschool –  ongoing enrollment based on space
Academy –  suggested enrollment commitment by April 1 of each year to meet space availability.  As spaces are available open enrollment continues.

Excel Christian Academy accepts the McKay Scholarship, Florida Tax Credit (Step Up for Students, AAA), Gardiner, and Hope Scholarships.  All students are eligible for free breakfast, snack, and lunch through the National School Lunch CEP program.

6505 Odom Road, Lakeland, Florida 33809
Excel Christian Academy Early Childhood Center

Excel Christian Academy’s Early Childhood Center accepts infants and children from 6 weeks through 4 years old. It is part of Excel Christian Academy private school that serves ages infant through 12th Grade.

Every classroom in the preschool presents a unique community of learners that varies not only in abilities, but also in learning styles. We believe that each child is unique and needs a secure, caring, and stimulating atmosphere in which to grow and mature emotionally, intellectually, physically, and socially. Our teachers use strategies that allow our students to meet their fullest potential in these areas by providing an environment that is safe, supports risk-taking, and invites a sharing of ideas.

Our play-based, child centered program reflects the integration of physical, cognitive, social, emotional, language, and spiritual areas for the total development of the child. Meaningful play encourages curiosity, risk taking, discovery and problem solving which allows individual growth and development of a positive self worth.

Ages Served:
Excel Christian Academy’s Early Childhood Center accepts infants and children from 6 weeks through 4 years old (PreK4). Excel Christian Academy serves students from Kindergarten-12th grade.

Open Houses or Tours:
Prospective families are invited to schedule tours (currently virtual) by calling the school at  863-853-9235.

Affiliations / Type of Preschool (if applicable): Florida League of Christian Schools

School Hours / Schedule:

Preschool Hours: 6:30 am- 5:30 pm (with aftercare until 6pm)  10 hour maximum stay
Academy Hours: 7:50 am to 3:20 pm with aftercare until 6pm for additional fee

Registration Dates / Details:

The Early Childhood Center offers ongoing enrollment based on space. Complete the application process; acceptance conditional upon space availability and meeting the admission criteria.

Additional Information:
 All students are eligible for free breakfast, snack, and lunch through the National School Lunch CEP program. Students beginning in PreK3 must be potty trained.

Do you offer scholarships for preschool age?

Families can apply for ELC via elcpolk.org

Click here to learn more about Excel Christian Academy for grades K – 12.

6505 Odom Road, Lakeland, Florida 33809
St. Paul Lutheran School (PreK-8)

St. Paul Lutheran School is a non-public school serving children age 15 months through 8 th grade. Over the 56 year history of SPLS we have provided nurturing and engaging education that has equipped students exceptionally well for the next stages in their lives. This is all done with Christ and God’s Word at the center and with individual care and respect for each learner.

Our core principles include discipleship training, mission, and the development of servant leaders. These are joined by striving for academic excellence, innovative thinking, and developing student G.R.I.T. (Grace, Responsibility, Integrity and Tenacity). We understand the key role positive relationships have in school success. Having high expectations, sharing grace, practicing empathy for children, and empowering them to be independent and accountable are key aspects of managing student behavior.

What makes your school unique?
SPLS is located on a beautiful, conveniently located 37 acre campus with extensive facilities and access to learning technology. An athletic center, sports fields, a ¼ mile running track, a 4H archery range, three student playgrounds, and student gardens are just some of the amenities of the SPLS campus.
Classrooms feature interactive touchscreens and student access to iPads or Chromebooks.
The core program emphasizes Christian Studies, the language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies. The core is supplemented by Spanish, physical education, and art. Our program of music instruction is outstanding including high-quality weekly piano lab instruction for K-4 students and band for 5th -8 th grade.
Many families and guests comment on the family atmosphere at SPLS that flows from our desire to
emulate the love of Christ and build the bonds of community.

Grades Served:

  • Early Childhood Enrichment Center Ages (ECEC) starting at 15 months.
  • Elementary serving children from Kindergarten through 5th grade
  • Middle School with students in 6th -8 th grades
  • Academic Immersion Program which is a small ABA based program for middle school learners

Open Houses / Tours: We love to engage with individual families through comprehensive campus tours and in person exchanges of information. Call or email.

Affiliations: St. Paul Lutheran School is a ministry of St. Paul Lutheran Church. We are part of the Florida-Georgia District of the Lutheran Church- Missouri Synod (LCMS). The LCMS has an extensive history of Lutheran Christian education encompassing thousands of schools and early childhood centers nationwide.
We are fully accredited through AdvancED and National Lutheran School Accreditation.

School Hours / Schedule: Programs start at 8:15 AM daily. Before school care begins at 7 AM. Elementary and Middle School programs conclude at 3:00 PM and 3:10 PM respectively. Eagles’ Club after school care is available until 6 PM daily. SPLS typically operates with a school calendar that mirrors Polk County schools. Summer programs and child care during vacation periods are also typically available.

Registration Dates / Details: Registration for the coming school year SPLS starts in February of each year and we continue to accept and review applications throughout the year. Information about admissions is found on our website however we really enjoy meeting families face-to-face. Call for a tour.

Scholarships: SPLS accepts Family Empowerment, StepUp (Florida Tax Credit), Gardiner, McKay and Hope scholarships for students who meet our enrollment criteria. We also disburse some additional scholarships for K-8 students through our SPLS scholarship program. Information is available in the Admissions section of our website.

St. Paul Lutheran Lakeland Private School
4450 Harden Boulevard, Lakeland, Florida 33813

Childcare Guide

Check out our Childcare Guide for Lakeland + Polk County for other childcare topics including preschools, daycare, VPK, after school care, school holiday camps, and more.