Photo by Lisa Hunter/Viking -Josh Reed, 5, and Keila Holsey, 4, have fun painting faces at a carnival for graduating preschoolers.

By Lisa Hunter / Staff Writer

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Childcare applications are being accepted at the PCC and the LAC.
Alec Colchico, manager at the Child Development Center (CDC) at the LAC, said, “The center is richly diverse and a great place for children. We provide a service to community, to family and to the students themselves.”
One special event at the preschool is an annual art show.  Colorful creations are displayed at a daytime expedition to show off little Picasso’s in the making.
Trike wash day, playground dance parties and carnivals are other activities the children enjoy. Tuition rates are lower than current market rates and a free food program is available for many participants.
“Spaces are limited and spots fill up fast, especially for the 2- year- olds,” Colchico said.
Robert Doolittle, 5, said, “We don’t have to do homework. We can relax and play and we don’t have to be scared.”
Siri Connor, an employee at the Department of Communication Studies and Sign Language at the LAC, has had her 5-year-old daughter, Bailey, enrolled in the program since age 2. Connor agrees with the center’s philosophy of learning through play. “I love the way the school applies important concepts of math and science by using relatable play objects like Play-Doh.”  The children are constantly learning at their own level without academic pressure, she said.
The program is a rewarding environment for educators. Markesha Taylor, a teacher at the PCC site, said, “The children’s excitement for learning is what makes the center a great place to work.” Parent participation is an additional plus, Taylor said.
Olivia Moreno, 4, said, “We have lots of toys and we do projects.”
The center not only serves as a preschool, but also a designated training facility for students seeking careers working with children and families.
If people have early-child and development units, the center is always looking for substitute teachers.
“We are a lab school for the college. That’s what we are here first and foremost, because early- childhood education students come here to observe and study how children grow and develop,” Stacey Smith-Clark, manager at PCC said. The type of program offered at the preschool with such qualified staff members is very rare, she said.
“Childhood is so small, “Smith-Clark said, “This is their time and we need to celebrate childhood and offer them the opportunity to play.”
For more information about the Child Development Center, people may visit childrencenter.lbcc.edu or call (562) 938-4253 at the PCC or (562) 938-3079 at the LAC.