The Otago University Nursery Association was established following a meeting of interested parents on 11 November 1968. The Rev Gaze offered All Saints Church Hall as the venue, this was accepted. On 10 March 1969, the Centre opened as an Incorporated Society with 24 student parent members.
The organisation moved to Cumberland Suite (an old two-storied house), opposite the old gym, on 21 August 1971. There were 2 staff in the morning and 2 in the afternoon.
On 19 October 1971, the University offered the premises at 525 Great King Street. Major alterations, to cater for 30 children, were completed in November 1972 and it opened in February 1973.
Additions to the front of 525 Great King Street were made in 1974-75. In 1981 the Nursery section shifted to 523 Great King Street.
In September 1985 the University offered the Association, 24 St David Street. Following extensive alterations the Fulltime Centre opened in February 1986.
Afterschool opened at 525 Great King Street and shifted to the Leith Playcentre in July 1995. In July 1997 the name changed to The Otago University Childcare Association Incorporated.
In January 2007 following the merger of the Dunedin College of Education and the University of Otago, the College of Education Early Learning Centre came under the umbrella of the OUCA as the College Centre - Rōpu Tiaki Tamaiti.
The OSCAR Programme was disestablished in December 2011 because of falling enrolments.
On May 5th 2014 the Nursery, Preschool and Fulltime centres moved to 551 Castle Street North, to four purpose built centres , including a Bilingual centre - collectively known as Te Pā. Rōpu Tiaki Tamaiti (College Centre) continues to operate from 137 Union Street East.