Heather Arnold knows education and can attest to its merits first-hand. Arnold started at the Fairplex Child Development Center as a high school student in the ROP program and was just named assistant director of the world-renowned facility. Success is indeed sweet.
When the center opened its doors in 1980, it was regarded as one of the top facilities of its kind in California. In 1991 the center, operated by the Los Angeles County Fair Association, merged with the University of La Verne childcare program and expanded its physical size and staff, enrollment and programming. It also offered a golden opportunity for ULV child development students to increase their work experience and further their educationó a program that Arnold embraced and pursued.
Arnold started at CDC in 1994 working as an aide in a classroom for 3-year-olds. She began attending ULV to earn a teaching credential, nearly completing the student teaching requirements when she realized that child development was indeed her passion, in particular the Fairplex Child Development Center where she had established such a connection. She earned both a BA in education and a masterís degree in child development at ULV, and returned to CDC. She never looked back.
While her administrative duties have increased, she still has involvement in the classroom with staff training and as head of the centerís literacy program. Arnold works with 23 families on parent and child education and career planning as parents pursue educational and parenting goals, including earning GEDs and attaining an associateís degree as part of the literacy program. Arnold takes personal gratification in assisting the eligible families succeed in their goals. rc=h
A special treat for Arnold are visits from former CDC youngsters. ďItís amazing to see how the children have grown, matured and spread their wings. Itís very gratifying,Ē Arnold said.
The Fairplex Child Development Center is nationally certified and recognized. The center provides a variety of child care and developmentally appropriate experiences for 200 infants, toddlers and preschoolers from 8 weeks of age to kindergarten. It serves families of varying income levels and needs, including children with disabilities.
For more information about the Child Development Center or educational opportunities and programs at Fairplex, visit fairplex.com.