About

We Are All About Children!

CELC prides itself on quality education for children—infants, toddlers, preschoolers and school-agers.

Our mission is to develop, support and promote high-quality early learning experiences that meet the diverse needs of children and foster the well-being of the whole family to ensure lifelong success.

Our philosophy emphasizes developmentally appropriate curriculum (young children learn through play!); mandates low teacher-to-child ratios; values and encourages diversity among children and staff; and provides a professional support system and open-door policy.

Founded in 1981, CELC was the first full-day 5-star Step Up To Quality-rated early learning program in Hamilton County. Today, each of our seven programs in Greater Cincinnati has a 5-star SUTQ rating. That is the best quality-rating record of any multi-site agency in Hamilton County.

Check out our age-specific programs for infants, toddlers, preschoolers and school-agers.

Tuition assistance is available. CELC contracts with the Hamilton County Department of Job and Family Services to provide year-round tuition assistance to families who qualify based on income. CELC also offers nine-month free preschool to families who qualify by income through the Ohio Department of Education and Cincinnati’s Preschool Promise (some co-pay may apply).

In addition to serving children with high-quality early education and care, we also help other early childhood providers improve the quality of their programs and achieve high-quality Step Up To Quality ratings through our Outside Services Division.

We Are All About Families!

At CELC we believe that families must be engaged as decision-makers and partners in order to enhance educational outcomes for children. That is why family-centered practice has been our focus for nearly 20 years. Parents are, in fact, their child’s first and best teachers.

This means we work to see each family individually so that we can capitalize on strengths and access resources. This commitment to family-centered care lives in the daily interactions between teachers and families: in our focus on maintaining the attachment between the parent and child while they separate from one another; in nap notes from parents that are read to each child just before rest; in a phone call when the day is just too hard to go on without reassurance from mom or dad.  We only hire teachers who embrace our vision and are willing to go the extra mile when needed.

And we routinely help families as they seek ways to meet needs other than care for their young children. For example, we make referrals to families regarding developmental concerns of children. We help families access and maintain JFS/ODE funding, secure emergency housing and transportation, and make connections to local resources. We are always open to opportunities to do more.

These activities go beyond the scope of most early care and education centers. Despite the added costs and stressors, our philosophy does not allow us to act in any other way. Our Outside Services Department is, in part, a response to our desire to expand outreach to families.