Our Philosophy

Beginning in 1974, California Lutheran University's Early Childhood Center has always been rooted in the Lutheran tradition of education that emphasizes Christian faith and principles. The center provides a hands-on experiential learning environment for infants, toddlers and children, ages newborn - 6 years of age.

KidsOur current facility was dedicated in March 2011 as the Fredrickson Family Early Childhood Center, replacing the House on the Hill preschool, which opened in 1974.

In a loving, nurturing atmosphere each child has long periods of uninterrupted free time to explore and engage in activities that are meaningful to her/him.

In our certified Outdoor Nature Explore Classroom, a child is encouraged to feed their own sense of wonder and grow to be stewards of the earth as he/she learns to recognize it's beauty and it's treasures. Families are encouraged to become involved and offer their talents and personal connections to nature. Likewise, the staff's unique talents are embraced as each of us work together to create a learning environment where children are recognized as unique and capable, and embraced unconditionally as a gift on loan.

Curriculum goals enable every child to construct a knowledgeable, confident self identity; to develop comfortable, empathetic, and just interaction with diversity; and to develop critical thinking and the skills for standing up for oneself and others in the face of injustice. We believe this will help each child develop into a self-confident, flexible, creative, and joyful person.

Our center, in using a developmental and emergent approach, asks its teachers to act as facilitators, to be in the middle but never in the way. By asking open-ended questions our staff begins to build a child's sense of self and independence when the child realizes he/she can find solutions and accomplish tasks.

We build on the cognitive development of each child by providing many opportunities for risks and challenges. In this Christian setting we seek to empower each child to begin to see how special and talented he/she is. The center is licensed for sixty three children on a daily basis. Because of this, the staff is able to form a personal relationship with each family.

Our outdoor environment has been certified by Arbor Day Foundation and Dimensions Research Foundation as a Nature Explore Classroom.  We are proud to be a demonstration site for the Outdoor Classroom Project. We are recognized for our commitment to connecting children with nature. Please visit the link to our slideshow gallery of pictures as the children enjoy and explore all the wonders of their natural surroundings.