Mid-Valley campus celebrates Children’s Centers Week
South Texas College’s Child Development Center at its Mid-Valley campus is celebrating Campus Children's Centers Week, which is meant to highlight the essential role child centers play on campuses nationwide. Top photo left to right Cherie Vargas, Early Childhood Educator I; Olga Pulido, Early Childhood Educator II; Ashley Gomez, Early Childhood Educator I, Cynthia Ontiveros, Early Childhood Educator II and Adela Luna, Early Childhood Educator I.
STC’s Child Development Center at its Mid-Valley campus is celebrating Campus Children's Centers Week, which lasts from Oct. 2-6, and is meant to highlight the essential role child centers play on campuses nationwide.
Since opening its doors in 2006, STC’s Child Development Center has served hundreds of families with children ranging in age from 12 months to 12 years of age. The center is available to all current STC students, staff, faculty and community members.
The Mid-Valley Center is also the only child care facility in the Rio Grande Valley to have the prestigious National Accreditation Commission (NAC) for Early Care and Education Programs designation for exceeding state licensing requirements in many important areas, including health, safety, curriculum, student/teacher interaction and parental involvement. The other closest facility is in Corpus Christi.
The Center also brandishes a national accreditation as a four-star rated Texas Rising Star Program while serving as a global model for hands-on learning for adult students and a “living laboratory” for ongoing children’s research.
“We are a very unique and very valuable child center for our region,” said Veronica Villarreal, Child Development center assistant manager. “We are not a daycare. We are a child development center and with that in mind, we know we are held at a higher standard.”
“Even through the years, our consistency and quality have never changed. I think that’s one of the greatest things we can celebrate. For all these years, we have not only served our students and parents but the community itself, which has recognized that our teachers have the proper foundation that these babies need,”
At its core is a commitment to providing a program that meets the needs of children in the areas of cognitive, physical, social, emotional, creative and language development.
“Even through the years, our consistency and quality have never changed,” said Sylvia Serrano, Child Development Center manager. “I think that’s one of the greatest things we can celebrate this week. For all these years, we have not only served our students and parents but the community itself, which has recognized that our teachers have the proper foundation that these babies need,”
STC Child Development and Early Childhood student Ashley Gomez knows firsthand how beneficial the STC Child Development Center on campus has been for her success.
When she began at South Texas College in 2018, she said she was like many parents with young children who had grown weary, hearing about all the problems associated round child care facilities.
Caring for her then 2 year old, Gomez recalls her thoughts at the time, “How often could I check in on her? Will she be fed properly? Who will be in charge of caring for her? Are her caregivers qualified?”
What she didn’t know it at the time was that STC’s Child Development Center and the services it offers, would be the start of a dynamic partnership as well as a step forward into her future career.
Less than five years later, Gomez said the center has not only assisted her with care for her daughter and son, but it has also enabled her to earn certificates in infant and toddler care as well as preschool education.
“Like all parents, I am very cautions with my children,” she said. “So, when I heard about STC’s child care center, I knew it was going to work out perfect because I was only going to a short walk away from them while I went to class.”
Taking a break from college this semester, Gomez says she is only two courses short of graduating with her associate degree in Child Development/Early Childhood, which she earned while being employed as a teacher assistant at STC’s child center.
“I loved the entire experience here. It was perfect and it worked out great for me because without this center’s help, I feel like I would have been lost,” Gomez said. “We’ve all become a little family here with the teachers and staff. It was a perfect match.”
To learn more about STC’s Child Development Center visit www.southtexascollege.edu/child-development-center/.