The public is welcome to join the Community Action Commission in celebrating great places for children and young parents in Santa Maria.
Find out more about the Early Head Start Center and Home Base program at its special new location, the CAC Little Village Center, at an open house from 4 to 6 p.m. Friday, Jan. 11 at the center, 219 W. Chapel St. in Santa Maria. Refreshments will be served.
The Little Village was founded by owners Dr. Paulette Lucier and Gustavo Aldana in 2004. It was created as a safe haven for local children and families to heal and grow.
The CAC moved into the new location for its Early Head Start Toddler Center last fall when Lucier and Aldana relocated outside the area.
The Little Village’s architectural design consists of buildings that resemble a small village, with shop fronts that include a boat house, malt shop, school house, general store, and bank, train and sheriff stations.
“I was inspired to create a safe haven for children to feel comfortable and free to express themselves in a space that was designed just for them,” Aldana said. “As a result, the adults have to enter the child’s world rather than asking the child to enter the adult’s world.”
CAC Children’s Services Director Mattie Gadsby said, “The Little Village is a special center because it was designed with children in mind. As an adult you feel like a ‘giant’ there because it is scaled to children. The environment surrounds the children and creates a secure and imaginative place to explore and learn.”
— Elizabeth Lee represents the Community Action Commission.