Students immerse themselves in ECE classes on the South Coast Puente has long dreamed of bringing ECE [early childhood education] classes to the South Coast so that community members could learn how best to support the healthy development of all children in the community. In fall 2017, that vision became a reality. A certificate program offered by Cañada College at Puente creates a way for adult students to obtain a California Child Development Assistant permit. With an emphasis on the importance of nurturing the “whole child,” students in the program develop the skills, beliefs and attitudes to prepare children for future school success. Students receive financial and academic support to succeed in the ECE courses, taught in Spanish, as well as help to facilitate their educational goals like certificate programs, transfer to a Bachelor degree program, and career advancement. Obtaining the Child Development Assistant permit will take two years, as students take one Early Childhood Education course per semester, along with an accompanying English as a Second Language (ESL) course, also offered at Puente. The program’s schedule is tailored to support the adult—mostly women— students in their academic journey as well as enable them to continue with their full-time employment and demanding home lives. 120 hours of instruction to 20 students 6