Child Development Center there for Cerritos’ children

Guillermina Cervantes

The Child Development Center’s mission is to provide high quality child care and development services to the Cerritos College community.

The center was created in 1973 for students that needed child care while they go to school.

Director Debra Ward stated, “It is also available for anyone working on campus.”

The Child Development Center is also a laboratory school.

Students who wish to seek a career in teaching children can take courses in child development and come to the center for their field work so they have hands-on experiences with young children.

“We train them to become the potential work force,” Ward said.

Aside from the students, the program has its own hired staff and instructional assistants.
In order to register for the program, the child must be between the ages of 2 1/2 to 5 years of age.
“We take them whether they are potty trained or not and we work with the parent to help them potty train their child,” Ward said.
The program is available for full-time care anytime from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and part time care from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
There is a process a parent has to follow before the child is admitted into the program and it is to go to the office and fill out a request form which is also know as a waiting list form.
There are approximately 360 children on a waiting list but Ward still urges parents to fill out a form so if something opens up and is available they can give them a call.
The program’s philosophy is: children constrict their own knowledge through exploration, experimentation, hands-on activities and opportunities to collaborate with other children and their teachers. Children learn about their world though their ideas and to demonstrate what they know and what they are learning.
The daily curriculum is based on children’s interests.
“We provide activities that will enhance a child’s cognitive, social emotional, creative and physical development,” Ward explained. “Along with that we also provide a breakfast, lunch and an afternoon snack.”

The child development center is not designed as a drop-off center for just babysitting or child care.

It is a development program so parents need to be enrolled at Cerritos, part-time or full-time.

There is a basic fee parents have to pay to get their child into the program, but it varies due to the parent’s income.
“We do have a sliding scale. If you fall a certain income range then your child care can either be free or it can cost you $5 a day or $8 a day or $1 a day,” Ward said.
The child care program has received government grants for support.
“We have received another government grant of $245 thousand. So that grant is starting for this semester and we will get it again for the summer. So that’s a new grant that we just received and I am happy about that,” Ward stated.
If you would like more information on the program, it can be picked up in the Technology Building in rooms 2 and 4.