Mesa’s Child Development Center aids students and the community


Teal Davis

Students at the Child Development Center playing in their outdoor space.

Teal Davis, Staff Writer

    Mesa College’s Child Development Center aids students and community members with child care, focusing on coming alongside low-income families and supporting families with vital resources. 

   The center, which is focused on children from ages two to five years old, has been a part of Mesa for over 60 years. They aim to offer child care, supplies, and family resources for children and families in the community. It works to come alongside low income families and offers free child care for children in the foster system. Enrollment and fees are income based and the center aims to make child care reasonable and affordable for working parents and students. 

    The Child Development Center Director, Ida Cross, has been working with the San Diego Community College District since 1986 and has been with Mesa College since 2007. She began a full time position after raising her own children and now works to serve the children and families in the community. She explained that the department’s “goal is to train up and coming teachers… and to serve the community for folks who may be working or going to school.”  

    The center has active programs throughout the Spring and Fall semesters and takes a break over the summer months due to a lack of need from the community. 

    The center also offers opportunities for students to develop skills and gain lab hours, working hands-on with the children at the center. Their goal is to teach up and coming teachers and T-K or pre-kinder teachers. The program is largely focused on students who are working towards their Bachelor’s degrees or are looking to further their teaching permits.        

    The Child Development Center is currently looking for donations as they approach the end of the semester. Financial donations contribute to a variety of needs met by the center, including resources for the center itself, food-based programs, and supplies for families at the center. Individuals can donate to the department through The San Diego Foundation by making a note that they wish their donation be put towards the Mesa College Child Development Center. They are currently looking for inexpensive activity-based toys and supplies to offer families for the upcoming summer. They are also accepting donations which the children can utilize for school supplies as some of them enter Kindergarten in the upcoming fall semester. 

    The center also offers a food-based program which aims to provide meal benefits for many families. The program serves many of the lower income families who may be food insecure or lack the time to prepare hot meals for their families. The center collaborated with Picky Eats, a nutrition focused company which seeks to give back to the community, in order to ensure that families in need are supplied with hot meals. 

Donate to the Child Development Center at The San Diego Foundation: 

To learn more about enrollment at the Child Development Center: 

Children at the Child Development Center (Teal Davis)
Teal Davis