The Consortium for Early Learning Services is a non-profit corporation dedicated to providing leadership and assistance in the establishment of quality, affordable and accessible child care programs. Founded in 1982 and incorporated in 1987, the Consortium for Early Learning Services (CELS) was initiated through funding made available by the Riverside County Board of Supervisors, the City of Riverside, the Press-Enterprise, the Riverside Community Hospital, the City of Moreno Valley, and the Coachella Valley Association of Governments.
Currently three local regions comprise the CELS. The Eastern Region serves the nine cities and surrounding communities of the desert area. The Southwestern Region serves the communities of Temecula, Murrieta, Lake Elsinore, Canyon Lake, Perris, Hemet, San Jacinto, Wildomar and surrounding communities. The Western Region serves the cities of Riverside, Corona, Norco, Moreno Valley and surrounding communities.
The CELS Regions are comprised of members representing city/county government, business, education, community service agencies, child care organizations and community leaders. Region members assess Early Care and Education (ECE) needs at the local level and address those needs through collaborative partnerships. The CELS does not own or operate child care programs. Instead, it provides leadership and assistance to local communities to establish affordable, quality Early Care and Education programs.
The accomplishments of the CELS include developing new centers and family child care homes; sponsoring community awareness events; assisting employers with employee child care issues; providing community ECE resources; assisting planning departments with zoning, ordinance and regulation issues; providing scholarships to assist families with the cost of child care; and training ECE providers.
In 1992, the CELS was appointed the Local Planning Council to assist with priorities for Federal Block Grant Child Development funding in Riverside County. In that capacity, the CELS reviews funding, conducts needs assessments and makes recommendations based on identified priorities.
The CELS accomplishments are made possible because of community support at the city, county, state and federal levels. Accomplishments are also made possible due to special partnerships with the Riverside County Office of Education, Riverside County Department of Public Social Services, Riverside County Department of Public Health and First 5 Riverside.