By Cynthia Laguna
Marcia Cagigas, the new director of the Child Development Center, is not just passionate about children but also about bringing awareness of breast cancer.
Coming from a large family, Cagigas recalls growing up playing games with her twin sister and using her imagination to make anything she could get her hands on to try to keep herself active.
She hopes to be able to make learning a fun activity and she believes that children learn by playing and allowing them to create their own experiences.
She was very fortunate to have a supportive family who helped her advance in her career.
Cagigas remembers her mother playing an important role as a supporter of her teaching career.
But she faced a setback when her mother passed away from breast cancer, making it a bit difficult for Cagigas to concentrate on her duties while trying to get her master’s degree.
On her free time Cagigas likes to spend quality time with her family and she devotes her time to fundraise at the Breast Cancer Walk.
Being a fan of the Los Anegeles Dodgers, Cagigas enjoys attending baseball games with friends and family.
Cagigas is an alumna of Sacred Heart High School, a private Catholic all-girls school in her hometown of Lincoln Heights.
She graduated from East Los Angeles College in 1984 and expanded her education attending California State University, Los Angeles from 1984-1987 and the University of La Verne from 2005- 2007.
The beginning of her career began just after high school when Cagigas began working as a teacher assistant at ELAC.
Her interest in children developed into a passion for the way they learn, and what the children say. “I love what I do. There is never a dull moment, there is always something going on,” Cagigas said.
Her job as the director of the Child Development Center was not easy to obtain, according to Cagigas, she had to wait until a position opened.
Cagigas duties include working with the budget for the program.
As well as working with the children, parents and the instructors of the facility.
She is seen as the ultimate disciplinarian and helps parents understand the services provided by the program.
Most importantly, Cagigas goals are to bring back the evening program and be able to provide childcare for students or parents who attend night classes.
She hopes to be able to acquire different funds for the program and start the process to be accredited by the state National Association for the Education of Young Children.
Instructor at the Child Development Center, Deborah Glickman describes Cagigas as always providing help, “being times when she will walk into the classroom and see a need, for example a child needing extra help to figure out how to play with another child.”
The Child Development Center in the ELAC provides its service for student parents and low income families.
The services include day care. Fees are based on each student’s status which they try to keep affordable.
They also provide free breakfast, lunch snacks. Free service funded by the Child and Adult Care Food Program.
The Child Development Center is located at the southeast corner of campus, building A1. Contact the Child Development Center at (323) 265-8788.