Our Story


In 1993, members of the First Presbyterian Church of Birmingham (FPC) decided to open a superior quality childcare program to serve the working parents in downtown Birmingham’s City Center. Enlisting the help and financial resources of the church’s members and the assistance of four corporations in the downtown area, FPC raised the funds necessary to build our state-of-the-art facility. The Elizabeth Perry Rushton Child Development Center (the “Rushton Center”) is built to accommodate 78 children from six weeks to five years of age. The Rushton Center opened in September 1995 and was licensed by the Alabama Department of Human Resources.

In May 1997, the Rushton Center first received national accreditation through the National Association for the Education of the Young Child (NAEYC) and the National Academy of Early Childhood Programs.

In August 2013, the Rushton Center became recognized as a state certified Pre-K program. The well-regarded program provides high-quality early childhood experiences that prepare Alabama's children for school success and lifelong learning. The Rushton Center has maintained this certification since the original award.

While the Rushton Center is housed in a building adjacent to FPC, it is a separate 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation and is operated by a Board of Directors composed of Rushton Center parents, FPC representatives, and community members.


The mission of the Rushton Center is to provide quality childcare in a loving, nurturing environment for children whose parents live and/or work in downtown Birmingham.


At the core of the Rushton Center’s philosophy is the belief that children learn by experiencing their environment and the things and people in it. We feel that experiences are best accomplished through play or “learning by doing.” The teacher’s role is to provide a challenging and stimulating environment in which children can freely explore their surroundings so that the total development of each child is enhanced. Children grow and develop physically, socially, emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually. Our state-of-the-art facility, active learning approach to curriculum, and qualified staff create the type of environment that will give children developmentally appropriate choices and critical thinking skills while promoting growth in each of these areas.


"since isaac began the pre-k III classroom we have witnessed tremendous growth in his learning skills. we are routinely impressed when he comes home nearly every day telling us what he has learned." ~ Jason dailey