The history of CAU began with the establishment of Chung-Ang Kindergarten as an annex to Chung-Ang Methodist Church at Insa-Dong, Seoul in April 1918. Since the Japanese invasion in 1910, many precursors have regarded educational institutions as a way to liberate the nation. In those days, most schools were established by foreign missionaries, and thus, people thought that kindergarten education would be the most effective way to imbue Koreans with the spirit of political independence. This was because kindergarten education may not only stir the national consciousness of young students, but also passes on the spirit of national independence to their parents.
To accomplish such goals, Chung-Ang Kindergarten, which began as a branch institute of Jeongdong Church Kindergarten, became the first and only educational entity fully founded and supported by Koreans, without help from outside forces. As a result, newspapers with national consciousness such as Dong-A Daily News and Maeil Newspaper reported in detail the activities and events of the kindergarten, while many people gave financial assistance to support its operations.