The Center for Early Education began as a group for children in a single-family home in the Hancock Park section of Los Angeles in 1939.
The original founders of this group, most of whom were professional psychoanalysts, were passionate about respecting the inner world of the child. They sought to develop an early childhood education based on each child's natural developmental pace as well as on the recognized developmental stages through which each individual passes to maturity. At a time when preschool education was in its infancy, CEE's Founders pioneered a school dedicated to the needs of young children.

Explore The Center through the years

List of 16 items.

  • 1939

    The School for Nursery Years is Founded
    The School for Nursery Years is founded by a group of parents, most of whom were professional psychoanalysts, as a playgroup in Hancock Park on Rossmore Blvd. It was one of the first schools to serve young children in Los Angeles.
  • 1946

    Move to Alfred Street
    The School for Nursery Years moves to its current Alfred Street location. A new building was constructed on a piece of property that was purchased for $10 from Eleanor Francis.
  • 1947

    Teacher Training Program Opens
    The School for Nursery Years opens a teacher training program for nursery school teachers and administrators. The program would eventually be called The College for Developmental Studies.
  • 1965

    Head Start Pilot Program
    The first Head Start program in the United States is held on campus during the summer of 1965.
  • 1967

    New Building Opens
    A new brick building (Building A) opens on campus with The School for Nursery Years on the first floor and The College for Developmental Studies on the second floor.
  • 1968

    The Center for Early Education
    The new building is dedicated, with The School for Nursery Years officially renamed The Center for Early Education.
  • 1971

    The Elementary School is Added
    Elementary School grades are added to The Center as the academic program and student population expand.
  • 1988

    New Elementary School Building Opens
    The Center's new Elementary School building (Building B) opens.
  • 1989

    Celebrating 50 Years
    The Center celebrates its 50th anniversary. The Annual Fund Drive and Gala begin.
  • 1991

    The College Closes
    The College for Developmental Studies closes after 44 years in operation.
  • 2003

    New Upper Elementary Building Opens
    The new Upper Elementary building (Building C) opens. The campus expands to its present 1.3 acres.
  • 2016

    Campus Enhancement Plan Breaks Ground
    The Campus Enhancement construction project breaks ground. Completed in Spring 2020, the Campus Enhancement Project includes two new instructional buildings with rooftop play areas, a full-size soccer field, new gym, and indoor-outdoor, smart classrooms.
  • 2016

    75 Years
    CEE celebrates 75 years with a Grand Gala and "75 Acts of Service" throughout the year.
  • 2018

    La Cienega Building Opens
    The new building on La Cienega opens in January, which includes the new gym, classrooms, board room and urban terrace, roof yard, and public art installation “Wake Up and Dream”.
  • 2020

    Campus Enhancement Complete
    The Campus Enhancement Project, which broke ground in 2016, is completed. Two new school buildings, replacing Buildings A and B, connect to an existing building (Building C) to create a single 100,000 square foot school building, surrounding a new full-size playfield. The Toddler Center and field open.
  • 2022

    Welcome Damian Jones
    Damian R. Jones began his tenure as Head of School of The Center for Early Education in July 2022. Prior to his appointment to The Center, Damian spent 8 years as a Head of School in Washington, DC, 11 years as an Assistant Head of School in Chicago, IL, and several years as an executive director of an academic enrichment and secondary school placement program.
The Center for Early Education, a socio-economically and culturally diverse independent school for children, toddlers through grade six, strives to graduate students who are joyful, resilient, lifelong learners. The Center embraces a philosophy of education that combines a nurturing, inclusive learning environment with an increasingly challenging academic program that addresses the developmental needs of each child.