Smith Hill Early Childhood Learning Center

The center is state licensed and has been rated as a “5 Star” program by BrightStars, a national assessment system that rates the quality of child care programs and provides important information to parents who are making choices regarding child care for their children.

Capital City’s Smith Hill Early Childhood Learning Center is located at 25 Danforth Street in the heart of Providence’s Smith Hill neighborhood. The center operates from 7:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and serves children ages three through five years who represent our racially and culturally diverse community. Financial assistance is available to low-income working families struggling with rising child care costs.

SHECLC has been participating in the RI Department of Education’s Pre-Kindergarten program since 2015, building to a total of 5 certified classrooms for 90 children. Pre-K education is a priority goal in Rhode Island, and the SHECLC is proud to have been one of the earliest sites selected to participate and maintain its rigorous standards. Children from Providence who turn 4 years old by September 1 are eligible to apply through a lottery process every spring.

Smith Hill Early Childhood Learning Center participates in the Rhode Island Department of Human Services’ KIDS CONNECT program that fund children with special needs participate, play and learn, along with their typically-developing peers. Learn more about KIDS CONNECT.

SHECLC has committed to improving its teaching practices so that the children and families will have access to a high quality education program that values the family and treats each child as an individual learner.

Here are a few of SHECLC’s Guiding Principles:

  • Children are active learners.  They learn best from direct and personal exploration of their environment, through curiosity and discovery, trial and error, and modeling of the adults in their world.
  • A young child’s emotional regulation and social development are crucial to their ability to (a) develop curiosity, self-direction, and persistence in learning situations, (b) cooperate, demonstrate caring, and resolve conflict with peers, and (c) experience motivations from feeling competent and loved.
  • Families are the child’s first teacher; family engagement in their children’s learning is of highest priority; cultural values and traditions of the family are taught and celebrated.
  • Well-prepared professional staff, sensitive to the strengths and needs of all children, are crucial to the successful outcomes.