University of Southern California


Working with our neighbors to build a strong community

School for Early Childhood Education (SECE)

NOW ENROLLING! School for Early Childhood Education

Child Plus One Application (USC SECE)>

Aplicacíon de Child Plus One (USC SECE)>

Head Start and Early Head Start

Mission Statement
By providing comprehensive, high-quality early childhood education services to children and their families in South Los Angeles and cultivating parental involvement, we seek to create positive change in the community now and in the future.

Founded in 1970 as a teaching school for future early-childhood professionals, the USC School for Early Childhood Education (USC SECE) has served more than 4,700 neighborhood children from 4,200 families. Today, our Head Start and Early Head Start centers serve more than 500 infants and pre-school children and their parents every year.

USC SECE operates fully licensed child care developmental centers for children ages 18 months to five, and an Early Start home-based program for children from birth to three years. Open five days a week, September through June, the centers offer full-day and part-day classes.

What We Offer

School Readiness
The Head Start Child Development and Early Learning Framework represent the foundation of the Head Start Approach to School Readiness. It aligns with and builds from the five essential, or core, domains of birth to five school readiness’s, to identify critical areas of learning and development for 3 to 5 year children, including dual language learners and children with disabilities. The Framework guides curriculum selection, implementation, and assessment and can be used when planning and assessing teaching and learning experiences and children’s progress toward school readiness goals.

The Head Start Program staff determines a child is up-to-date on a schedule of well-child care; ensures that each child has a source of continuous, accessible, coordinated care that serves as a “medical home.” Well-child care includes scheduled age appropriate preventive and primary health care including medical, dental, and mental health care.

Mental Health
Focus on enhancing awareness and understanding of mental wellness and the contribution that mental health information and services can make to the wellness of all.

Head Start has been known for its “inclusive” policies. That is, children with disabilities have been enrolled, and an educational program has been provided to meet their individual needs

Family Engagement
Parent and family engagement in Head Start and Early Head Start is about building relationships with families that support family well-being; supporting strong relationships between parents and their children; and nurturing ongoing learning and development for both parents and children.

Children eligible for the USC SECE Head Start or Early Head Start program must live within the designated South Los Angeles Service area and qualify by age and family income. Income eligibility is based on the current Federal Poverty Guidelines and those established by the California State Department of Education, Child Development Division. For the full-day program, parents must be in school or in a full-time training program or hold a full-time job. For eligibility and enrollment information, call 213 743-2466.

Our Locations

Early Head Start Home-Based Program (EHS)
3716 S. Hope Street, Suite 378
Los Angeles, CA 90007
(213) 740-8259

Griffin Elementary
2025 Griffin Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90031
(323) 222-8131

University Gardens Child Development Center (EHS)
1250 W. Jefferson Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90007
(323) 733-1650

University Park Child Development Center
741 W. 27th Street
Los Angeles, CA 90007
(213) 743-2466

John W. Mack Child Development Center
3020 S. Catalina Street
Los Angeles, CA 90007
(323) 730-7627

Lenicia B. Weemes Child Development Center
1260 W 36th Pl.
Los Angeles, CA 90007
(213) 309-7755

Norwood Street Child Development Center
2020 Oak Street
Los Angeles, CA 90007
(213) 300-5451

Vermont Avenue Child Development Center
1435 W. 27th Street
Los Angeles, CA 90007‎
(213) 321-2218

USC SECE is funded by grants from the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, and the California State Dept. of Education, Child Development Division. Our Services are aligned with Head Start Program Performance Standards and California State Dept. of Education Title 5 and California Dept. of Social Services Title 22 regulations.

USC SECE 2019-2020 Annual Report

Contact information:

April Smith
Executive Director
School of Early Childhood Education

University of Southern California
Los Angeles, Ca 90089
Tel: 213-469-1161
Fax: 213-821-7800