The Child Development Center has played a significant role on Saddleback’s campus throughout the years, as it has opened new doors for students and the community.
Being open since almost the beginning of Saddleback, the center has contributed a valuable service to many students on campus.
“It was seen as a [necessity] for students that needed child care, so they [are able to focus] on their course work,” Child Care Specialist, Wes Thomas said.
In addition to working with student and community’s children, the center also works hand in hand with departments on campus (i.e. Psychology).
The center is unique in that the children are surrounded by natural objects to give a sense of comfort to feel more at home.
“It turns into their environment,” Thomas said.
Each room is different, suiting each child the best way possible.
“Kids are very receptive to learning from other things [around them],” Thomas said.
Bringing a natural atmosphere to each room, the center also focuses on keeping the same group of children together; including their adult staff member, to add a “family” feeling.
“We call it our school of families so-to-speak, because kids get really excited about seeing each other. They help each other and learn to be social,” Care Giver, Shawn Norman said.
The center has a well-rounded, committed staff, with plenty of experience under their belts.
“What’s good for young children is generally good for adults as well. Adults that can set realistic limits for kids, problem solve and include kids in that process,” Thomas said.
Within each room there are self-directed activities, allowing the children to be engaged in whatever interests them most.
“Learning takes part when there’s active participation of the kid,” Thomas said.
In each activity, a child adds to the building blocks of their fundamentals; such as writing, speaking and reading.
“When kids can connect their words to written words, it gives their words more power,” Thomas said.
The center strongly stands behind providing a safe, adaptive, learning environment for every child.
“[We] are always trying to help advocate for staff and parents to take classes [to ensure a better understanding of children],” Thomas said.
For more information about Saddleback College’s Child Development center, visit.