Learn the Why Behind the Work We Do.

When you understand the importance of a person’s earliest experiences, you understand the power we hold to create change in our community.

A Life-Changing Experience

The beginning years of a person’s life are unique. There is no other period where the brain is as capable of change than in the time before kindergarten entry. 90% of the brain is developed in the first 5 years of childhood. Over 1 million new neural connections are formed every second. Early experiences are life-changing.

Early emotional experiences set the foundation for later academic performance, mental and physical health, and social relationships.* If a child grows in a secure and language-rich environment their brain architecture flourishes. If a child experiences chronic toxic stress their brain is not able to form the connections it needs to grow into a healthy adult. 

Learn more about how early experiences build brains at the Harvard University Center for the Developing Child.

At CELC our children thrive under the care and guidance of our dedicated teachers who understand and implement this research. At the beginning of the school year, over 48% of our prekindergarten students do not meet expectations in at least one area of development. Upon graduation, 100% of our students meet or exceed developmental expectations.*

Children who enter kindergarten with the executive functioning skills nurtured in our program experience positive outcomes that last a lifetime.

Children able to demonstrate kindergarten readiness upon school entry:

Need Less K-12 Specialized Services and Remedial Education
Are More Likely to Graduate High School and Pursue Higher Education
Earn More Taxable Income
Obtain and Utilize Advanced Skills in the Workforce
Use Less Social Welfare Programs and Medicaid
Are Less Likely to be Incarcerated

when compared to their non-kindergarten-ready peers regardless of socioeconomic status.*

Kindergarten Readiness in Franklin County

CELC’s 100% kindergarten readiness rate is of great significance. Only 40% of all Franklin County 5-year-olds and 28% of economically disadvantaged 5-year-olds are ready for kindergarten upon school entry.*

The majority of our families live at or below 100% of the federal poverty line. 75% of our families live at or below 200% of the federal poverty level, and 87% of our families live at or below 300%. Our children and families stand to gain the most from a high-quality early childhood education and accessible comprehensive care.*

The achievement gap between people of different races begins in early childhood and widens in the following years.* CELC combats this gap by providing an equal and accessible education to all of our students. While minority children in Franklin County are less prepared for kindergarten than their more privileged peers because of systemic racism, CELC students do not demonstrate this same discrepancy upon graduation.*

An Investment that Pays Dividends

Due to the outcomes detailed above, comprehensive childcare for at-risk families like those served by CELC demonstrates a rate of return on investment of 13.7%. This is far greater than the return on preschool alone and significantly greater than K-12 education and interventions. Though improved child and parent outcomes, accessible high-quality child care changes lives and communities for years to come.

Learn more about the economic impact of early childhood education programs at The Heckman Equation.

Invest in a Child. Invest in a Family. Invest in the Future of a Community.

Comprehensive high-quality early childhood education & care programs like CELC yield a return on investment of 13.7% by improving child outcomes and increasing parental income.* Support for the early years is an investment in the health and happiness of a community.