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About Us


Our mission is to serve children and families of the University of Cincinnati and community by providing a high quality, educational program sustained through a professional, nurturing staff.

Who we are, and What we do

UC Early Learning Center
3310 Ruther Avenue | Cincinnati, Ohio 45220
Phone: (513) 961-2825 | Fax: (513) 281-7676

Serving Children of Ages: 3 months - 5 years Year Round: Monday - Friday 7:00 am - 6:00 pm.
And during the summer, children ages 5 years - 8 years.

  • The UC Early Learning Center is a seperate, not-for-profit organization that serves the children of University of Cincinnati students, faculty, and the community
  • We offer a comprehensive early childhood education program designed to enhance the total development of each child in ways which respect and promote cultural diversity
  • We serve 149 children ages 3 months to 8 years
  • We are responsible to the needs of student parents attempting to complete college degrees
  • We staff degreed professionals to work with young children
  • We provide effective, affordable, high quality child care
  • We provide state of the art learning and child development programs and facilities
  • We offer a multi-cultural curriculum and a diverse population of children and staff
  • We provide child care scholarships to help defray costs for many low-income student parents
  • We work in partnership with the College of Education's Laboratory Preschool to provide a Head Start Program and Teacher Training


The UC Early Learning Center is staffed by caring individuals with varying degrees of education and experience. Our Lead Teachers hold a minimum of an Associates degree in Early Childhood Education. Teacher Assistants and Aides receive on-going training to develop and strengthen their skills. Student Teachers from the university assist our regular teaching staff in the implementation of the program.

UCELC Program Philosophy

The UC Early Learning Center program embraces the constructivist position. This position posits that children learn when they are engaged both physically and cognitively, with objects, people, and events. The program has a developmental focus which grants each child the opportunity to grow and learn at his or her own pace. The planned environments offer purposeful activities that support and encourage growth and exploration in math, science, literacy, music, art, as well as social skills, all of which provide a solid foundation for entering elementary school. The program design reflects the belief that quality early childhood education based on constructivist assumptions involves constant interaction between and among the environment, the child, the teacher and the family.

  •  Environments foster trust and free children to take charge of their play.
  • Children are encouraged to refine skills in self-direction, self-regulation and problem solving within the context of a program carefully planned to balance freedom with direction that meets both group and individual needs.
  • Teachers begin with the knowledge the child has and find ways to help the child figure out new thinking related to what the child understands, thus clarifying and moving toward an appropriate solution.
  • Teachers are engaged in frequent one-on-one purposeful interactions and commentary to encourage language, scientific inquiry, and creative expression, while supporting social and emotional well-being.
  • Materials and supplies are selected carefully to enrich play and work with music/movement, literature/literacy, math concepts, scientific inquiry, sensory and art media, and props for dramatic expression.

Discipline Policy
At UC Early Learning Center, the goals of discipline are to help the child develop inner controls, help the child verbalize instead of using physical actions, bring the child in touch with his/her feelings, and establish appropriate and constructive behavior.

Commitment to Diversity
The UC Early Learning Center is committed to serving a diverse population of children and families, and to providing a multi-cultural, integrated curriculum. In the classroom, pictures, books, puzzles, dolls and dramatic play materials reflect a diversity of racial and cultural backgrounds, gender roles, and special needs and abilities whenever possible. Only current, accurate images of children and families of diverse backgrounds doing real life things are portrayed. Art and music include materials, art work, songs and instruments from many cultures. Families are encouraged to share native customs, music, clothing, books, games, and foods with their child's group.

Children with Disabilities
Children with mental or physical disabilities have the opportunity to participate in all activities at the center. All children benefit when children with and without disabilities are served in the same setting. Children who do not have disabilities  experience growth in social skills, increased tolerance of others, and decreased fear of human differences.

The UC Early Learning Center will make any reasonable modification in policies, practices and procedures in order to accommodate individuals with disabilities. The Charlotte R. Schmidlapp Child Care Center meets current ADA architectural requirements. Individualized Plans are used to meet the specific needs of children with disabilities while under our care and supervision.

Non-Discriminatory Policy
The UC Early Learning Center does not discriminate for reason of race, creed, color, gender, religion, disability, national and ethnic origin in its admissions, scholarship or educational programs and activities.