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Throughout the long history of the Arlitt Child Development Center, faculty from the University of Cincinnati and preschool staff from the center have collaborated to implement an early childhood curriculum solidly rooted in theory and reflective of current research. The result has been a dynamic curriculum that uniquely reflects a synthesis of professional expertise from both the college and classroom ranks.


Grounded in social constructivism, the Arlitt curriculum is designed to meet the individual needs of all children in the areas of cognitive, social, emotional, and motor development. Play-based at its core, our curriculum is child-driven, guided by our observations of our children and their interests. Inspired by the words of child development professionals in Reggio Emilia, Italy, we believe that all children come to us as competent, capable, and ready learners who can and should have agency in their learning experiences.


To this end, curricular decisions are made based on the needs and interests of the children and a thorough knowledge of child development. Learning experiences and materials are designed to promote an active process of inquiry, encouraging children to explore, experiment, question, study, problem-solve, and communicate ideas with one another.


As more and more research is emerging highlighting the deficit of unstructured, outdoor free play and a disintegrating connection to nature in young children, Arlitt teachers are committed to providing meaningful and regular experiences outdoors. Play with natural materials is an educator preference both inside and outside of the classroom. Trips to our intentionally designed Nature PlayScape and outside play times are a part of our regular classroom schedules, supported by the old adage that there is no bad weather, only bad clothing.

Appreciating the amazing amount of diversity in our classrooms, our teachers also work to implement a culturally sensitive, anti-bias curriculum. Classroom teachers work diligently to foster strong classroom communities that allow children to learn, grow, and take risks within the supportive context of a safe and loving environment for all.

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