Child Development Offers Growth Experience

Judy Del Castillo

The nationally accredited lab school at GCC’s Child Development Department is one of many programs that provides a learning experience for students in the Early Childhood Education program.

The department, which is housed within the Child Development Center behind the parking structure off Mountain Street, both make up the hands-on experience and academics for students, said Deborah Owens, department chair who oversees the academic program.
The department was created in 1940 to meet the demands of childhood education and to prepare students for that field.

As stated on its Web site,, the goal of the department is to prepare future teachers to act in a “culturally diverse world,” with emphasis on teaching, establishing positive relationships between students and serving as a role model in education.

Students interested in child development may work directly or indirectly with children in areas such as education, psychology, pediatric medicine, social services and child care.

The lab school is recognized by the National Academy of Early Childhood Programs and serves as an on-site teaching center for students in a group environment, where students are accompanied by teachers to learn and to meet the needs of children up to 12-years-old. The Mentor Teacher Program recruits experienced teachers to provide training and assistance for these students.

“GCC has one of the best Child Education programs out there,” said Maria, 26, a student who wished to be identified only by her first name. “Sometimes it’s hard learning material through books, and you get a better feel of what is being taught when you’re given the chance to interact with the children on a personal experience.”

The academic program currently offers five certificates, with three of them being equivalent to the Child Development Permit requirements issued by the California Commission on Teaching Credentialing. Each permit has its own requirements that authorize a person to perform within that specific level of service in the child development curriculum.

Other programs include the Child Development Training Consortium, which financially helps unemployed students within the program. The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families-Child Development Careers is another program for students who receive financial aid and want to pursue a career in Early Childhood Education. The goal of these programs is to meet the demands of teachers and help these students and their families become economically independent.

“I worked at a fast food restaurant and thought working there was all I could ever be. I’ve always loved children and babysat whenever I could .. The program has made it affordable for me to stay in school and continue my dream of being a teacher,” said Maria, who is a recipient of one of the financial aid programs.

The department also allows for the enrollment of children whose parents who are GCC students.

The state preschool program is available to children between 3 to 4 years old from income-qualified student parents enrolled at Glendale, four nights a week from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

The lab school offers a day program with three full day sessions: Monday through Friday; Monday, Wednesday, Friday; or Tuesday and Thursday. It is open to students, faculty and the community.

The evening program is available to children between 2 to 12-years-old from GCC student parents. Students may choose from one to four nights between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m.
To enroll a child or for more information, contact the program director, Jeanette Tashiro, at 818-240-1000, ext. 5355.

The lab school was added in 1990. It manages the Los Angeles Universal Preschool program and quickly became one of California’s Department of Education’s preschool programs in 1996 when the school was honored with Exemplary Program Status.

The Child Development Department currently comprises of 400 students, families, children and teachers.