The Child and Family Center staff are highly trained professionals in the field of early childhood education. Our full time staff have acquired, or are in progress of acquiring, their M.A. degrees in Early Childhood Education. Our teachers also hold child development permits from the State of California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. Our fieldwork students are working toward their B.A. degrees in Child Development and Family Studies by completing their required fieldwork class of 90 hours per semester in our facility.
Jodi Morinaka, M.A., Center Director
Teacher Jodi earned her BA from CSULB in Child Development and Sociology. She then continued on to receive her MA in Early Childhood Education from CSULB, as well.
She has worked with children since 1996, in a variety of jobs ranging from summer camps to tutor programs, to after school care. Since 2001, she has worked in a child care setting. While pursuing her BA, she worked in the Child and Family Center, here on campus. In 2004, she was hired as the Lead Preschool Teacher. Teacher Jodi was then promoted to Assistant Director, and then to Director by 2010. 2015 marked her 10th year anniversary of work here at CSULB.
Her plans for the future are to continue to teach the teachers of tomorrow and continue attending conferences for early childhood education. Teacher Jodi enjoys working in early childhood education because she loves to experience children’s imaginations. She feels they always have grand ideas and stories that they love to share, and thinks it is amazing to see where their imagination can take them.
Arlene Nelson, M.A., Assistant Director
Teacher Arlene received her BA in Child Development and Family Studies from CSULB in 2005. From there, she earned her MA in Early Childhood Education from CSULB, in 2007.
She has worked in the child care setting since 2002, with a variety of ages, ranging from infants through school aged children. After completing her fieldwork in the Child and Family Center, she was hired as Lead Toddler Teacher in 2005. Teacher Arlene was promoted to Assistant Director in 2010, where she continues to work now. She also had the opportunity to work as Interim Director for two semesters.
Her plans for the future include continuing to work closely with students earning degrees in child development, attending conferences, and working towards furthering her education. She enjoys working in early childhood education because she gets to interact with children, families, and students, simultaneously. She wants to be a positive influence in the early childhood education field that inspires others to work toward the goal of providing quality child care to all children.
Noemi Carrillo , M.A., Lead Preschool Teacher
Teacher Noemi received both her BA and MA degrees from CSULB, in the field of Early Childhood Education. She has been a part of the Child and Family Center family since 2012.
Her plans for the future are to have her own child care center one day. For now, she plans to continue getting more experience in the classroom setting, and possibly work as an Assistant Director or Director of a center. She enjoys working in the early childhood education field because she loves watching the children grow and develop right in front of her eyes, while having the opportunity to be a part of it. She loves interacting with the children and observing the way that they do things. She appreciates having the chance to watch children figure things out for themselves and being able to see the job in their faces when they do. Challenges arise while working with children, but Teacher Noemi feels these experiences help her learn more, not only about herself, but about the children.
Yessenia Ibarra, B.A., Lead Preschool Teacher
Teacher Yessenia received her BA from CSULB and is currently working on her MA in Early Childhood Education. She has been working at the Child and Family Center since 2012.
She enjoys working in the early childhood education field because she loves being a part of her student’s learning experiences. Teacher Yessenia feels that every day she learns something new about herself as a teacher, as well as about her students.
Stefanie Pedigo, M.A., Lead Toddler Teacher
Teacher Stefanie earned both her BA and MA from CSULB, in the Early Childhood Education field. She has worked as Assistant Teacher in both the Preschool and Toddler classrooms, and has been the Lead Teacher in the toddler room since 2010.
She enjoys working with young children, and having the opportunity to watch them grow and develop. Her favorite thing is knowing that what she, and her co-teachers do in the classroom will have an impact on a child; for example, helping a child learn to count or even learning how to peel a sticker. Teacher Stefanie also loves seeing the joy on a child’s face after they accomplish a task they have been struggling with.