Program Overview

The program is built around the authentic assessment of each child with curriculum approaches designed to meet identical needs. We also use assessments to help identify group/class trends, and adaptations or adjustments are made accordingly.

The Child Development Center serves as the “Laboratory School” for the college’s Child Development Department. Mt. San Antonio College students are supervised by Child Development Professors, as they observe, discuss and write about the children at the CDC. They may also interact with the children in an effort to develop their teaching and classroom management skills.

Any information collected for college instruction is confidential and used only professors and students in conjunction with Child Growth and Development classes. As part of this information gathering process, children may be photographed, video or audio taped. However, students must use the Center’s digital cameras and/or media for recording, and must process/develop all images and recordings at the Child Development Center under the direct supervision of Mt. SAC Faculty and/or Center Lead Teachers.


Each day the CDC Staff works to answer the following questions:

  • How can we offer children engaging and enjoyable learning experiences that fuel their intellectual engines and build their confidence?
  • How can we connect children’s fascination with learning in every domain and make the most of their time at the Center?

With these questions in mind, the Mt. SAC Child Development Center intentionally creates an exceptional learning environment!

Teaching Staff

Background and Training

The teaching staffs are highly qualified professionals. All Lead Teachers hold (at minimum) a Master Teacher Permit from the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing or higher, Associate Teachers hold an Associate Teacher’s Permit, and all Assistant Teachers have completed a minimum of 6 units or more in Child Development and are working towards Permit eligibility. The Lead Teachers at the Center Also hold either Bachelors or Masters Degrees in Human Development, Child Development, or related fields.

We support continuous staff growth by assessing the needs of staff and providing professional development activities to enhance their growth. Our staff members are evaluated annually, and they are strongly encouraged to attend and participate in workshops, conferences, classes, and training programs to enhance skills, and keep abreast of the latest research and trends in Early Childhood Education and Child Development. Many of the Lead Teachers belong to professional organizations focused on education principles and several participate in the California Mentor Program.

Ages of Children Served

The Center serves children between the ages of 3 months to 5 years. Mt. SAC students as well as faculty, staff and the surrounding community may apply for early care and education services.

Equal Access

We warmly welcome and invite all parents to participate in their child’s classroom or simply to observe. The Child Development Center has an open door policy.

The Center does not provide education or child care and development services that include religious instruction or worship, and we believe in Equal Access to all children and families regardless of background and abilities.

Early educators, care providers, children and parents all benefit when children can learn and play together. Including children with and without disabilities in the classroom reflects our larger community where people with and without disabilities live, work, and play together every day! Inclusion contributes to acceptance, improved socialization, and understanding of individual differences and abilities.

It is our intention to work closely with every family and attempt to meet the needs of each child. As a General Education program, We do NOT currently offer direct specialized or support services, however we do allow for and encourage cooperative arrangements with other programs (provided families have made these arrangements), and assist with referrals for services including special education assessment.

As much as possible and reasonable, we work collaboratively with parents, school districts, regional centers, and other public/non-public agencies to provide the appropriate care and education for children with an IFSP, IEP, or disability. For information about rights and services provided by the ADA, visit Parent Idea Guide.

IMPORTANT: If a child’s challenging behavior requires a 1 to 1 ratio with teachers or otherwise significantly disrupts the program/classroom, the Center reserves the right to contact the parent to come directly intervene and/or assist the staff, remove the child for the day if warranted. If we exhaust all possible forms of support over a reasonable time and/or the child’s behavior severely impacts the other children’s experience regularly, we may determine that our program is not suitable or conducive to the child’s needs and we will try to assist the parent in finding a more appropriate placement for the child. We endeavor to engage in ongoing communication with families about progress or the lack thereof prior to assisting with new placement.


The Infant ratio of qualified adult to child is 1:3 meaning (1 adult to every 3 children); Older Toddler 1:5 and Preschool is 1:8. The CDC, as a CDE Contractor, may also apply Title 5 ratios and exemptions when applicable.

Activities outside of the Center i.e. filed trips require greater adult to child supervision. In an effort to maintain the same level of safety, we increase our adult-child ratios by adding teacher aides and parent volunteers.

Culturally Sensitive Education & Caregiving

The Center serves and employs an ethnically diverse population. It is important that the early care and education of young children reflect their home culture. This is possible through frequent communication between the teacher and parents and by encouraging parents to be actively involved in the program.

Discipline Policy

Children are given information, clear expectations and limits. Discipline takes the form of modeling appropriate behavior, clarifying expectations, redirecting, and limiting choices as necessary. Our goal is for children to understand and internalize appropriate behavior. We avoid punitive treatment because it engenders fear and anger rather than understanding. Physical punishment is prohibited by law and research shows this is an ineffective and one of the most negatively impactful discipline strategies to employ with children.

Child Abuse & Neglect Policy

All Child Development Center Personnel are mandated reporters of child abuse and neglect as stated , in part, in the California Penal Code – Section 11166: “Any person who has knowledge of or observes a child whom he or she knows or reasonably suspects has been a victim of child abuse must report the known or suspected instance of child abuse to a child protective agency.”

Please Note: While in attendance at the Child Development Center, parents may not engage in “disciplinary” or other behaviors/actions against their child or other children that would be considered “ABUSE” as defined by California’s Penal Code. If A parent has difficulty with their child, he/she should ask a staff member for assistance.

Striking, spanking, cursing at, intimidating or bullying, and otherwise being overly physically and verbally aggressive towards a child, regardless of the reason can be interpreted as abusive or raise suspicions of abuse. As research has shown these are the least effective and most damaging (to the child and family) discipline strategies a parent/guardian can employ (aside from being possibly criminal!).

Laboratory School

The Child Development Center is a laboratory site for Mt. SAC students enrolled in a variety of disciplines, including Child Development and Nursing. Students observe and participate in the children’s classrooms to fulfill course requirements and gain practical experience in working with young children.

If you have any questions, call the Mt. SAC Child Development Center at (909) 274-4920.