About the Child Development Center

The Cerritos College Child Development Center is a Nationally Accredited Program that services students, college employees and the community. The center is also a laboratory for future teachers in the field of Child Development. Our purpose is to provide a safe, nurturing, and educational program, which focuses on developmentally appropriate activities to foster respect for cultural diversity by providing multi-cultural and non-gender specific activities in the curriculum.

"Before we even attempt to teach children, we want them to know each of them is unique and very special. We want them to like themselves, to want to achieve and care about themselves."
- Marva Collins

Two young boys exploring the flow of balls

Our Purpose
The CDC's mission is to provide high quality child care and development services to the Cerritos College Community. We are committed to providing a safe, nurturing environment that promotes the physical, social, emotional, and cognitive development of young children while responding to the needs of families and fostering respect for diversity. Our commitment is to do this in developmentally appropriate ways, planning curriculum that is appropriate for the age span of the children enrolled in the center and implemented with attention to the specific needs, interests and developmnetal issues of the individual children and families who participate in the center.

A young girl exploring a zen garden

Our Philosophy
We believe that children construct their own knowledge, through exploration, experimentation, hands-on activities and opportunities to collaborate with other children and their teachers. Children learn about their world through this process of actively engaging with materials and people to demonstrate what they know and what they are learning. We believe that children are individuals and their individual differences must be acknowledged and accepted. Our program is designed to support the development of individual children and the group of children served by the Child Development Center.

We believe that teachers have a significant role in this process; they must facilitate, support and encourage learning through the creation of developmentally apppropriate environments, activities and opportunities, through the process of provoking ideas - talking, listening and observing young children -, and through collaborating with children in the construction of their knowledge.

A young boy sewing

Cerritos College began providing child care services as the Niemes Child Development Center in 1973 and was located off campus. The Niemes Center grew out of the collaborative efforts of the ABC Unified School District and Cerritos College and was originally designed to meet the needs of evening students at the college. The center moved on campus in 1976 and became the Cerritos College Child Development Center. During the 1970's and 1980's the center offered a variety of options for students., including night care. In 1990 the center established its current operating hours and began offering part time and full time care for 2, 3, or 5 days per week from 7:30 am - 5:00 pm.

The Child Development Center at Cerritos College is a laboratory school for college students seeking a carreer in teaching children. The College students that are enrolled in child development courses complete practicum (lab) hours, field experience, observations and other course assignments at the center. The Center also mentors twenty college students each semester. In addition, the Center serves as a resource for other programs, college courses and students on campus and maintains a strong relationship with other departments and programs in our community.

Today, the Child Development Center offers a preschool program for children ages 2 to 5 years of age and provides a morning and afternoon session of the Los Angeles Universal Preschool funded by First Five, and the California State Preschool Program, funded by the State Department of Education, Child Development Division.

The Cerritos College Child Development Center is licensed by the California Department of Social Services, Community Care Licensing Division and attained National Association for the Education of Young Children Accreditation in 1992.