Equipping Children for Life

Since 1981, CELC has been the model of quality childcare programs throughout the Greater Cincinnati region. We offer full-day, year-round programs for children ages birth to 12 which varies by location.

Children at CELC are not reciting the alphabet or repeating numbers from one to 10. That’s because research proves that “talking without doing” is largely meaningless for children. CELC offers programs based on the developmental level of each child. We provide activities and social situations to better equip them for life.

Children are encouraged to use language to verbalize their feelings, and they are guided by their teachers’ examples. Teachers ask open-ended questions to encourage divergent thinking and positive, creative expression while fostering individuality and respecting various levels of development.

What Is Quality?

Quality is a word that is highly overused in the description of childcare programs. Yet there are key indicators from research that suggest that philosophical foundation, family partnerships, staff qualifications and staff-to-child ratio are strong contributors to determining program quality. All of our eight locations have the highest 5-star quality rating through Ohio’s Step Up To Quality system.

Cincinnati Early Learning Centers Inc.’s philosophy provides a basis for the types of activities available for the children and the kind of care they receive in our centers. It is crucial to note that each decision that is made by CELC, be it educational, programming, financial, or other, is driven by this program philosophy.

“Talking without doing is largely meaningless for children.”

“We believe that children develop naturally at their own pace.”

Infant and Toddler

This can be accomplished by identifying a child’s needs and matching these needs to materials and experiences that will stimulate his or her growth.

Based on our developmental philosophy, we believe that children develop naturally at their own pace. However, in order for them to grow to their fullest potential, we feel that adults can aid children through providing an environment that will enhance this development.

Furthermore, high-quality caregivers are essential to a program that wishes to maintain high standards of care and education. Caregivers must be professionals who are willing to assume responsibility for establishing an educational program that meets the developmental and personal needs of each child. CELC prides itself in offering caregivers who are best equipped to meet the unique needs of each infant and toddler and who understand and promote partnerships with families.


Our activities and room structure reflect our program philosophy. Healthy partnerships with families provide staff with crucial information about each child from their parents, their first and best teachers.

In addition, anecdotal records, formal and informal assessment and personal interactions with each child allow the classroom teachers to further identify the child’s developmental levels and plan accordingly.

Optimal learning occurs when adults have established trusting relationships with children.  The curriculum is most appropriate when it is generated by the interests and abilities of the children and reflects their life experiences.


We believe that every child has a very personal pace and a unique way of developing physically, socially, emotionally, and cognitively. 

It is the role of the teacher to support each child’s strengths in each of these areas of development by creating a rich environment and encouraging the child to play and interact with the environment. The classroom and curriculum are designed to allow for the child’s exploration and experimentation. 

Children are encouraged to develop skills in self-direction and decision making with the support of educated adults who carefully guide them in ways which preserve their self-esteem. A key concept of our program is flexibility with emphasis on free choice under the guidance of nurturing and authoritative caregivers.

Notice of Nondiscriminatory Policy As To Students

Cincinnati Early Learning Centers admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs and other school-administered programs.