YWCA's Early Learning Center suits local residents

The Pesta at the family of Cleveland Heights enjoyed their time at the YWCA's Early Learning Center.

One of the best-kept secrets in Greater Cleveland is the Early Learning Center (ELC) at the YWCA. It’s where one will find children at play and early childhood education at its best.

Cleveland Heights residents and parents Tara and Alex Pesta credit the ELC with teaching their three children not only academic skills, but also the importance of playing well with others. “They show so much self-confidence, and they make friends easily in new situations,” said Tara, adding that they also show affection for old friends. “Our oldest child has now moved on to kindergarten, but she still loves visiting her teachers, where she’s greeted like a rock star.”

A quick glance into any of the classrooms shows that the children in this unique program are a reflection of the community. The ELC welcomes children and families of all races, ethnic and religious backgrounds, socio-economic status.  

“One of the hallmarks of all of our programs at the YWCA is our strong commitment to diversity and inclusion,” said Christine Davis, program director. “At the Early Learning Center, we have created a wonderful environment where diversity is celebrated—and this is greatly valued by the parents and families of the children enrolled here.”

The ELC provides a high-quality, comprehensive, age-appropriate learning environment for children ages ranging from six weeks to five years.

The Pestas were attracted to the center because of its convenient location and the opportunity to have a part-time schedule. They’ve stayed for over five years because of the staff. “It’s easier to go back to work when you feel good about the care that your child is receiving,” Tara said.

The ELC earned a two-star rating by the State of Ohio’s “Step Up to Quality” program, indicating it has exceeded licensing requirements with its evidence-based curriculum, low teacher-child ratios, high teacher education levels, focus on professional development and effective administrative practices.   

The Early Learning Center is open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and is currently enrolling children. ELC is located at 4019 Prospect Ave. in Midtown Cleveland, minutes from downtown and University Circle. For more information, contact Christine Davis by phone at 216-881-6878, x234 or by e-mail at cdavis@ywcaofcleveland.org.

Rachel Baker

Rachel Baker is marketing and communications coordinator for the YWCA of Greater Cleveland.

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Volume 5, Issue 7, Posted 12:50 PM, 06.28.2012