West Valley College
14000 Fruitvale Avenue, Saratoga, CA 95070 • Phone (408) 867-2200

Child Development Center

Contact Us

Tel: 408-741-2409
Fax: 408-741-2659

Director, Shelley Gonzales
(408) 741-2152
shelley.gonzales@westvalley.edu

Related Links

CINC Bay Area
NAEYC

Child Development Center banner

The West Valley College CDC is a 45-year-old early childhood program dedicated to supporting the needs of children and families in our community. We emphasize creating an environment of respect and understanding that supports the development of the whole child. We accomplish this through low adult-child ratios, highly educated teachers, and a focus on diversity. The program also serves as a lab school for the Child Studies department, helping to train the next generation of early childhood educators.


Open for all

The program operates on a non-discriminatory basis, according equal opportunity for access to services and employment without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, sexual preference, or special needs and disabilities. No religious instruction of any kind is provided.

An environment built for play

We believe play is the natural medium through which growth and development can best be realized for each child. Therefore, our program reflects an emergent play-based curriculum in a natural setting. We establish an aesthetically beautiful environment in which children are free to explore, create, learn and grow.

We believe children learn by doing and discovering for themselves, so adults provide opportunities for children to experiment and explore their environment. Adults serve as guides, facilitators, and co-discoverers, rather than direct instructors. Curriculum topics emerge out of the interests and needs of the children.

Adult / Child Ratios

The program is staffed by full-time teachers who have degrees in Early Childhood Education. The CDC staff have training and experience in all areas of child development. One adult is scheduled for every six to eight children.

Commitment to Diversity

Our curriculum is ethnically diverse, non-sexist, and anti-biased. This is demonstrated in the use of appropriate materials, toys, books, pictures, and foods. We employ a diverse staff and are often assisted by our parents and Child Studies students in providing unique ethnic and culturally relevant experiences.

The Child Development Center is an exemplary embodiment of the mission of West Valley College.
For example:

  • We serve as a research-based teacher training school for the 700 Child Studies students

  • We are proactively addressing the achievement gap by providing children with high-quality early education while enabling their parents to achieve a college degree. Many of our parents are first-generation college students seeking to create a better life for their families.

  • We foster a spirit of inquiry through our emergent, play-based curriculum

  • Our presence on campus nurtures lasting relationships among children, students, departments, and the greater community

  • We practice sustainability in our outdoor classroom components

Our curriculum nurtures children’s language, cognitive, physical, social, and emotional development. It is our goal to create an environment which provides children with the opportunity to:

  • Develop a positive self-concept, feel unique, and know they are valued individuals.
  • Establish lasting relationships with teachers and peers based on mutual respect and trust.
  • Learn to communicate effectively.
  • Build their strength, muscular coordination, and physical skills.
  • Establish a foundation for healthy and safe habits.
  • Grow in their ability to understand their social and cultural environment.
  • Develop problem-solving skills, to concentrate, and to think creatively.
  • Grow in their ability to recognize and express feelings appropriately.
last published: 10/20/14 • validate xhtml css 508