Our History

Cheerful Home Child Care & Early Learning Center was founded in 1886 because Cornelia Collins and a few volunteers saw the need for day care services in our community while witnessing dozens of children being left alone to care for themselves while their mothers were working. They wanted to provide a “home setting” where these children could learn skills and have the encouragement they needed. Their very forward thinking placed emphasis on education, independence skills, and social skills. While Miss Mary McDowell assisted with this endeavor, she spoke of it as a “cheerful home”, and the name stuck.

Early Supporters

Cornelia Collins

Lorenzo Bull

Mary Bull

1886 – Founded by Miss Cornelia Collins (oldest licensed day care in Illinois, 15th oldest in the nation)

  • Founders sought guidance from Hull House in Chicago, IL

1902 – Cheerful Home established first kindergarten in Quincy

  • First permanent location at 421 Jersey, donated by Mr. Lorenzo Bull

1935 – Present facility built at 315 South 5th Street with national publicity stressing advanced ideas of education for pre-kindergarten children, funds bequeathed by Mary Bull

1967 – Addition of gymnasium and offices

1975 – Established Outreach Family Support Program

1986 – Opening of the infant/toddler care center

1990 – Opening of school age satellite, later consolidated into the main campus

1998 – First nationally accredited child care center in Quincy

2010 – Achieved Illinois Quality Rating Scale level 3

Since 1886, Cheerful Home has been a significant part of the Quincy community, providing needed childcare and preschool education for area children. Cheerful Home, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, is the oldest licensed child care facility in Illinois (and the fifteenth oldest in the nation). Throughout our history, Cheerful Home has responded to our community by continuously expanding, creating and revising our facility, curriculum, and teaching methods to meet the needs of the families and community we serve.

Our History - Classroom Photo

Our Contact Info

     315 South 5th Street
     Quincy, IL 62301




     [email protected]


     6:30 AM - 5:30 PM




315 South 5th Street

Quincy, IL



Cheerful Home is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization governed by a Board of Directors, licensed by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, accredited by the National Accreditation Commission for Early Care and Education Programs (NAC) and ExceleRate Illinois.