Do I have to be a Caltech or JPL employee to enroll my child?

No. The CEC, since its inception in 1979, has been open to the surrounding community. However, Caltech and JPL employees do receive priority for enrollment as well a tuition discount. All families, whether from the community, Caltech or JPL, are eligible to apply for tuition assistance.

What is the CEC’s relationship to Caltech & JPL?

The CEC is a private, non-profit organization and was founded in 1979 at the behest of Caltech and JPL in order to offer a high-quality child care program for its employees. The CEC does receive some financial support from these two institutions and in return, Caltech and JPL employees do receive priority regarding enrollment and a discount on tuition.

What is the CEC's Tax ID number?

The CEC is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization and all gifts made to it are tax deductible to the full extent of the law. The CEC's Tax ID Number is 95-3403258.

Is the CEC accredited?

Yes, the CEC is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).

Does the CEC have a wait list?

The CEC does have a wait list for each age group in the Infant-Toddler and Preschool Programs and in the School-Age Program, the wait list varies by site. The length of each Infant/Toddler and Preschool wait list varies due to a number of factors, including your affiliation (community, Caltech, JPL), desired schedule and start date. We encourage all families to submit an application, even if we do not have any current enrollment openings, since there isn’t a fee to be on our wait list.

How & when should I apply to enroll my child?

The first step in applying for enrollment is to to review our Parent Handbooks: Infant-Toddler & Preschool Programs and/or School-Age Program. The second step is to complete an application, depending upon the Program (Infant-Toddler & Preschool; School-Age). Once you have returned your completed application, we ask you to schedule a visit. Due to the varying lengths of wait lists, we advise families to submit the application well in advance of needing care.

How or when can I come for a tour?

We love to have visitors! Because we want to give each family the personal and in-depth tour, we ask that you schedule a visit. Regretfully, drop in visits cannot be accommodated.

Where are you located?

The CEC is located in La Canada, California, between Pasadena and Glendale. The majority of our families live in the Los Angeles County communities of Pasadena, Altadena, South Pasadena, La Canada, La Crescenta and Glendale. Our Infant/Toddler and Preschool program, administrative office and one School-Age site are located at 140 Foothill Boulevard. Our four other School-Age sites are located at La Canada Elementary School, Palm Crest Elementary School (La Canada), Paradise Canyon Elementary School (La Canada) and 250/256 S. Michigan Avenue (Caltech Campus, Pasadena).

Do you serve lunch?

Since children have unique diets, food restrictions, and preferences, parents provide their child’s lunch. In addition, the CEC serves two healthy snacks each day.

What is your curriculum?

The Center’s curriculum and caregiving approach is research-based and designed to meet the emotional, physical, cognitive needs and interests of children. Well-established early childhood education and brain development theory demonstrate that children thrive and learn best when the environment provides developmentally appropriate and meaningful experiences.

How much is tuition?

Tuition rates depend upon a variety of factors, including affiliation (community, Caltech, JPL) and desired schedule. We do not offer discounts for siblings enrolled in the program.

What are your different enrollment schedules?

The CEC offers full-time and various part-time schedules for our Infant-Toddler and Preschool Programs as well as for our School-Age Program to accommodate differing parental needs.

What programs do you have for school-age children?

We offer before-and after-school care for children in kindergarten through sixth grade at five different locations from September through mid June. Our Oak Grove and Caltech sites only provide after school care, beginning at 11:30 am, while our other three La Canada sites (located at each of the three elementary schools) begin providing care at 7:00 am. In addition, we offer full day programs during Winter and Spring breaks and for selected school closure days. We also have a ten-week Summer Camp program for children that begins in mid-June.

I have a child with special needs. Can my child attend your program?

We welcome the opportunity to enroll children with a range of special needs, developmental delays, disabilities and medical conditions. Please contact our Program Director, Lisa Cain-Chang, for more information regarding the CEC’s inclusion of children with unique needs.

Does the CEC accept funding from outside agencies?

The CEC does accept funding from outside agencies such as Child Care Information Services, Child Care Resource Services, regional centers and other state funding programs.

Do you have any volunteer needs?

The CEC has a variety of volunteer needs and range from directly working with children, to serving on our Board, to assisting with facility projects. For more information, please contact our office (818) 354-3418 or send us an e-mail at cec@ceconline.org. If you are a college student and looking for a practicum experience, please see Educational Outreach.

What are your teacher-to-child ratios?

Our experience has confirmed that one of the most significant factors in providing a quality environment for children in a group setting is the number of paid, educated, professional staff available with whom the children can interact and relate. Not only do more staff provide better supervision and care, but it also provides a greater variety of personality types for a child to experience and increases the probability that your child will find a "special someone" to bond with. Following are the minimum ratios of paid teachers to children in the different age groups:

INFANTS Younger Infants: 1:3
Older Infants: 1:3.5
TODDLERS 1:4 1:4
TWOS 1:5 1:12
THREES 1:7 1:12
FOURS 1:7 1:12
SCHOOL-AGE 1:10 1:14