The Culver City Unified School District, Office of Child Development, first opened its doors to serve families with preschool children in 1971 under the name the Children's Center. The Children's Center, which was first licensed to serve 56 students, started with 2 preschool classrooms serving a total of 30 children and a part day kindergarten care program serving and additional 15, with a staff of 12. It quickly grew and a 3rd classroom was opened to serve 15 preschoolers which replaced the kindergarten care. During the early 1980's, it became apparent that we were not doing enough to provide worthwhile instruction and service to the students and families who lived within the Culver City community and surrounding areas. Subsequently, in 1985, we opened up our first school age after school program serving school age children followed by before school care for this same population of early learners. In 1990 we began providing part-day preschool services, and from the beginning, the Culver City Unified School District has been committed to quality early childhood education and after school enrichment while meeting the varied needs of a constantly changing community.
The Office of Child Development programs are based upon the growth and developmental needs of children from preschool through the elementary school years. While supplementing the care provided by their own families, our programs take advantage of an important opportunity to help children develop more fully by providing experiences which foster growth and extend what they are learning both at home and at school.
In our programs, we are very much aware that each child develops at his or her own pace. Consequently, we plan the curriculum to meet each child's own individuality during the process of growing physically, socially, emotionally, and intellectually.
Our program is informal and flexible, and yet the curriculum and environments are the result of careful planning based on the best available knowledge of child growth and development. We know that children find a sense of security in knowing what is going to happen so each day we have special times for indoor and outdoor play, group time, music, etc. In our planning, we consider the groups needs and the individual's needs and concerns, keeping in mind each child's uniqueness.
We include activities, which will enable children to build basic skills in language arts, science, social studies, and mathematics. Furthermore, children can be found singing, dancing, producing art, cooking, puzzle preparing, story reading, puppet manipulating, and game playing in addition to taking part in vigorous physical activity, such as running, jumping, climbing, digging, and building. These developmental skills are equally stressed as important building blocks to the total development of each child. We also encourage simple courtesy and caring for each other and our environment, as well as a respect for each person's well being and uniqueness. Field trips are a regular part of our program and we often take walks to the library, parks, and museums. In addition, we take bus trips to various locations to help enrich our curriculum and programs.
From our humble beginnings in 1971, we now serve close to 1000 students and their families, providing full day and part day preschool including special education preschool, before and after school care and summer enrichment camps at six (6) sites. We have a staff of 82, a wealth of knowledge and a rich history of providing excellence. Like our motto states, Engaging Young Minds, Exploring Possibilities is why we have lasted and grown.