An open letter to SDSU Children’s Center employees at all levels

Dear SDSU Children’s Center administrators, teachers and staff,

This is the last week my son, Eli K., will be at the Center, and I’m trying to think about the appropriate way to close a very significant chapter in our lives. Eli is pretty sure the appropriate way to close this chapter is to bring popsicles in for his classmates to share. Although I appreciate the power of popsicles, I feel this requires something more, which is why I’m sitting down to write this letter.

What the Center has meant to me over the past 5 years is very significant, and no token gifts could possibly convey my gratitude and respect. When my family moved here from Connecticut 5 years ago, I was exhausted from the move and nervous about my new job. I had about a month to get childcare settled for my kids, then 3-1/2 (Emily) and 6 months (Eli). How lucky was I to have the Children’s Center right here on campus? Immeasurably.

I feel like it’s important to share with you what your work meant to me, because parents are often too busy (or feel it’s too corny) to say it. You taught my children so much — how to take turns, use a spoon, talk about feelings, turn pages in a book, wash hands, chew with your mouth closed, count in Spanish… this list goes on and on and on. Are these little things? Individually, yes, they are. But in sum, what you did was contribute to my kids becoming the capable, independent, inquisitive grade-schoolers they are now. It’s the sum of the little things that makes childcare so meaningful.

Speaking of the little things, something else you did that may seem small also made a huge difference in our lives: you stopped to share a story about my child with me. Was it really critical that I learned that Eli played fireman with some old garden hoses that day? Technically, I suppose I’d be OK without that one tidbit of information. But over and over again, what I heard underneath those little stories was incredibly important to me: “I know your child, and I delight in his/her learning.” It means the world to me that you took the time to know my child, and that you wanted to share something about him/her with me at the end of the day.

In sum, I am so grateful to have had you as partners in our adventures in parenting. It’s true what they say about parents knowing their kids better than anyone, but what I’ve appreciated so much is my secret advantage of having, at every turn, a host of experts about young children in general, right here at my fingertips. How long do babies/toddlers usually put everything in their mouths? When is it reasonable to expect my toddler to take turns another child? Is my transition kid a picky eater at lunchtime? How can I help my older preschooler be patient with the younger preschoolers who just entered his class (and are breaking his Lego creations)? You know the answers to these questions, you shared your knowledge with us, and you helped us grow as parents.

Thanks so much for everything you do, day in and day out, that supports families in ways you may never know. It’s difficult, messy, exhausting work, but I hope this letter helped you remember how important it is to the kids and the families who are here, even long after we’re gone.

We will miss you!

Lisa Kath and family


What the SDSU Children’s Center Means to Me

Lanie Lockwood

How do you describe “home”? And how do you describe the kind of trust you give someone in order to leave your precious babies with her/him? That kind of trust and the qualities that make a home are what I’ve found in the Children’s Center. I have loved every minute of my time — and my children’s time — here.


I have learned answers to difficult parenting questions. I’ve learned how to better listen to my children. I’ve learned how children can develop by exploring answers to their own questions. I’ve met my very best friends at the Children’s Center. My children have met their very best friends at the Children’s Center.

My children honor others because they have been treated with respect and they’ve learned what “respecting others” truly means. They have a strong foundation with which to meet the world because of the love and philosophy of the Children’s Center.

By being a board member, I have learned what serving “every child” means. I understand how carefully this administrative team considers every single decision and the impact such decisions will have on children and families. This staff never takes decisions lightly.

I love how the Center utilizes the greater SDSU campus and helps the children explore the richness of a liberal arts experience. I’ve also learned children create incredible works of art.

I love how the master teachers and supervising teachers are experts in child development and how willing they are to discuss my children with me. I love how energetic and loving the part-time teachers are. I love how Miss Laurie gives me recipes from the kitchen that my child particularly likes. I love how the bookkeeper loves the children, not the numbers.

I am so sad to leave the Children’s Center. My family is so sad to leave the Center. But I know that our leaving creates a new place for another family who will grow and love the Center, just as we have.

Thank you, Children’s Center.


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