Our early learning centers are the cornerstone of the work we do. We serve children between the ages of 6 weeks and 5 years at our five child care facilities in the Near East and Linden neighborhoods of Columbus. Our centers use a play-based curriculum (The Creative Curriculum) and positive discipline in our classrooms to meet the individual needs of each of our students. Our child-to-teacher ratios exceed state requirements, allowing our teachers to provide more attentive care and individualized instruction. Our teachers are well-educated in the field of early childhood education and child development. All of our centers are rated 4 or more stars by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services’ Step-Up to Quality Star Rating System.
Responsive Care Giving
Promoting Secure Attachments and Healthy Relationships
The heart of a high-quality early learning environment is the relationship among adults and children, and children and their peers. At Columbus Early Learning Centers we know that young children are not only developing knowledge and skills as they grow, but also feelings and attitudes about themselves as learners and citizens of a community. We value children’s creativity, imagination, wonder and joy. We believe that young children are worthy of our nurturing care and respect.
Our teachers help children build warm, positive, consistent relationships by:
- Developing strong partnerships with families.
- Respecting each child as a unique individual.
- Being sensitive to children’s individual needs by observing closely and learning the cues children use to communicate.
- Nurturing children with gentleness, affection, comforting assistance and shared experiences.
- Responding appropriately to children’s strong emotions;
- Encouraging clear, open communication.
- Being positive and enthusiastic about learning.
From infancy, through toddlerhood and into the preschool years, healthy relationships help children develop the attributes of active, confident, effective learners. It is through responsive caregiving and healthy relationships that children truly develop the foundation for success in school and in life.
Promoting Meaningful Learning Experiences
Intentional teachers act with knowledge and purpose to ensure that young children acquire the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in school and in life. At Columbus Early Learning Centers we know that meaningful learning doesn’t happen by chance—it is thoughtfully planned and purposefully connected to specific goals.
Our teachers intentionally plan for the:
- Physical environment — providing a safe, healthy, engaging and organized classroom.
- Emotional environment — respecting differences and planning for individual needs.
- Learning environment — promoting play as the best way to learn, planning for both child-guided and adult-guided experiences and integrating learning in all domains.
At Columbus Early Learning Centers we implement a comprehensive curriculum and assessment system, Creative Curriculum and Teaching Strategies GOLD. This research-based curriculum is grounded in the understanding that play is the primary way children learn about the world and is aligned with Ohio’s Early Learning and Development Standards.
Our teachers understand that by listening to children, observing them at play, and providing them with appropriate environments and materials, the curriculum is constructed. It is of primary importance to the successful growth and development of each individual child that the curriculum meets them where they are and helps them progress in their own time.
Alum Creek Drive
Opened in April of 2021, this center is a unique partnership between CELC and Bridgeway Academy, a PreK-12 school for children with autism and other developmental disabilities.
Located just east of Downtown Columbus, our center at Broad Street Presbyterian Church is a favorite for parents working in the city. Our partners at Broad Street Presbyterian Food Pantry generously work to provide a monthly “CELC Family Food Night” for all of our families.
Located in the heart of the Near East Side community, our Champion Avenue Center has been open since March of 2014. This center is a part of a partnership with The Ohio State University and National Church Residences to bring different generations together in a structured learning environment. Each week, our young children and National Church Residences’ older adults participate in creative activities like art-making, singing, and tai chi.
The largest of our four centers, we have called this location home since the summer of 2016. This center is partnered with Central Community House, a comprehensive, neighborhood-based community center that serves the near east and near south neighborhoods of our community.
Located in the heart of the South Linden community, our Myrtle Avenue Center has been open since October of 2016. We enroll children from 4 years through 5 years of age. This center is the result of an innovative partnership with the City of Columbus, Columbus City Schools, and the Child Development Council of Franklin County, Inc. We are grateful for the funding provided by Early Start Columbus that makes this partnership possible each year.
Are you interested in enrolling in one of our centers? Complete an enrollment inquiry to be contacted by one of our team members about becoming apart of our CELC family.