Our Mission:


To provide high-quality, affordable child care and early learning through educational programs that support children, ages 6 weeks to 5 years, in reaching developmental milestones and preparing for kindergarten in a safe, positive environment while helping strengthen families.

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Our History

Originally named South Side Day Nursery, our Center has a rich history of providing child care for South Side residents of the City of Columbus. Nearly 100 years on Reeb Avenue!

In 1921, many mothers were working in warehouses waiting for fathers to return from war and children were fending for themselves. Lydia Pleukharp, President of the Work and Pleasure Club, saw that South Side children had a critical need for regular meals, baths, and naps. With the help of community organizations, the Day Nursery was founded in 1922 and located at 82 Reeb Avenue. Due to increasing enrollment and inadequate space, the building at 255 Reeb Avenue was donated to the Day Nursery by local philanthropist Mrs. W. A. Miller in 1927. The name was changed to South Side Learning & Development Center in 1984 and in September, 2015 SSLDC moved to its current location at 280 Reeb Avenue. In 2019 South Side Learning & Development Center became South Side Early Learning.


Support SSEL

All donations are used to enhance our programming and services we provide to our students and families. Please click here to donate online today.



Children Served

Over 110 children, 6-weeks to 5-years-old, are served daily in our eight classrooms.



Years Serving communities

South Side Early Learning has a rich history serving families in Columbus, Ohio.



children Impacted

Taken together, our history and programmatic reach has allowed South Side Early Learning to impact the lives of thousands of children.


Our Programs

South Side Early Learning is a member of the National, the Ohio, and the Columbus Associations for the Education of Young Children, the Ohio Chamber of Commerce, the Franklin County Human Service Chamber and the Ohio Association of Child Care Providers. We offer high-quality early education and care for children from 6-weeks to 5 years old. Families can enroll their children in our Early Head Start, Head Start, and Preschool classrooms.


Program Fees

A number of tuition assistance programs are available to qualifying families. Please see below for more information. Availability of slots is subject to available state/federal funds.

Early Head start (ages 6 weeks - 3 years)

Clients meeting the income and zip code requirements for participation in this program will not be subject to any shared cost.

Head Start (Ages 3 - 5 Years)

Clients meeting the income and zip code requirements for participation in this program will not be subject to any shared cost.

Early Start Columbus (Ages 3 - 5 Years)

Clients meeting the income, birth date, school district, and work requirements will share in a nominal cost of care.

Ohio Department of Education – Early Childhood Expansion of Public Pre-K

Clients meeting the income and school district requirements for participation in this program will qualify for part day program and will not be subject to any shared cost.

Publicly Funded Child Care (Title XX)

Clients meeting the income and employment/training requirements of the Ohio Department of Job & Family Services may qualify for partial or full childcare.

Full-time Private Pay

Private pay is available to families as low as $235 per week.


What Our Families Have to Say

October 2017

“Other Centers I took my son to didn’t do anything with him.  But here, at South Side Learning & Development Center, he is learning things…skills that he needs!  He used to only say DaDa, but now he knows his teacher’s names, he can say he’s hungry, and he has friends he plays with and that has never happened until I brought him here.”

– Joe Sowers, SSEL Parent 2016-2018