Early Childhood Education

preschooledEstablished in 1977, and recognized as a national model for parent participation and community leadership, the Mar Vista Family Center (MVFC) Preschool provides low-income families with a comprehensive program which ensures that each child receives the necessary support to excel academically and developmentally.

The Preschool Program

MVFC’s Preschool Program is a two-year program built on the Center’s key philosophy that parents should be actively involved as partners in their children’s education. Parents learn the principles of MVFC’s Shared Responsibility Curriculum Model by participating one day each week as assistant teachers.

The Preschool Curriculum

MVFC’s Preschool curriculum is designed to allow children to achieve age-appropriate physical, cognitive, literacy, social, and emotional competence. This includes a comprehensive school-readiness curriculum involving activities such as art, science, dramatic play, physical exercise, music, literacy, and storytelling. Preschool graduates, who typically go on to attend MVFC afterschool and community programs, later become skilled and articulate youth and community leaders.

Baby and Me Program

This program has been named Baby and Me, recognizing that it might be the mother, father, grandparent, or other caregiver attending with the young child. Established in 2008 in response to the needs of the community, the Baby and Me Program offers classes for infants and toddlers (ages 0-3) and their caregivers to help promote early learning and socialization skills. The caregiver and child attend ongoing, tuition-free classes that focus on key milestones in social-emotional and motor development skills, as well as what parents or caregivers should expect in the next phase of the child’s development. The information is delivered through a variety of interactive activities that allow the parents or caregivers to socialize with their babies through play and music.

Early Childhood Teacher Certification

In collaboration with UCLA Extension, MVFC has provided on-site courses for its Early Childhood Teacher Certification program since 1983. MVFC offers scholarships to participating preschool parents which cover the costs of tuition and books. Classes were originally taught only in English, but beginning in 2007 Spanish classes have also been offered. Since the inception of this program, more than 100 parents have received certification, enabling them to find employment as day-care providers or preschool teachers.