What Makes Us Special?

What Makes Us Special?
We Have Developmentally Appropriate Practices


This means that Learning Plans are focused on stimulating and encouraging each child’s own unique rate of growth and addressing a child’s individual needs, abilities and interests. Each classroom environment is specifically designed to meet the individual needs of the children. We seek to foster self-sufficiency and independence as well as prepare your child for academic success in later education.


An Open Invitation for Family and Teacher Communications
Children First of Cleveland welcomes open communication with families on a daily basis. We invite our families to ask questions, seek clarification and share insights about their child. Parents are encouraged to review your child’s portfolio often. Parents receive written summaries of your child’s progress and areas for continued growth. Parents my telephone Teachers as well as set a meeting to discuss any topic of interest to your family. We welcome extended family members’ participation in all of our events.
Tracking Your Child’s Individual Development

Upon enrollment in the Center, parents will be asked to complete a screening tool called the Ages and Stages Questionnaires (ASQ). Through observation and interaction with your child, his/her Teacher will complete an evidence based assessment to monitor your child’s development. During the assessment the Teachers will highlight your child’s area of strength as well as goals for the coming months. All of this information is capture in a personal portfolio for your child.

Professional Learning Environment


To promote the most professional work atmosphere among our Staff, the organization Staff is constantly receiving early childhood training as well as support for continuing their formal education. Staff meetings and one-to-one meetings are held periodically to encourage individual staff professional development. As articles on the latest research in early childhood development are available, this information is made available to all staff.

Voluntary Participation in the State-Sponsored Quality Rating Program


The State of Ohio has created a voluntary Star Rating System called “Step Up To Quality”. A State Representative visits the Center and rates the Center in following areas:

  • Learning and Development

    • Curriculum and Planning

    • Child Screening and Assessment

    • Interactions and Environment

  • Administrative and Leadership Practices

    • Staff Supports

    • Program Administration

    • Staff Management

  • Staff Qualification and Professional Development

    • Staff Education

    • Professional Development

  • Family and Community Partnerships

    • Transitions

    • Communication and Engagement

Our Center chooses to participate in this rating system.

Balance of Longevity of Staff


Children First of Cleveland’s philosophy with regard to human resources is to obtain a balance of veteran staff balanced with new hires. We believe that longevity creates stability for the children, families and overall operation of the Center. We have staff members with tenure in the organization of over twenty years. More than fifty percent of our staff have been employed with Children First of Cleveland for over five years. We welcome new staff with most recent knowledge of the field and unique ideas to keep our Center relevant. This mix results in the best possible learning environment for your child.