Otero Junior College Child Development Services provides comprehensive services, including full-day early childhood education, for children and their families through home based and center based services located throughout southern Colorado.
It is the mission of Otero Junior College Child Development Services to provide high quality, comprehensive early childhood education programs for children from birth to compulsory school age; to provide parent education programs that strengthen the family, develop basic literacy, encourage job training and personal development; and to develop community partnerships and coordination of community-based services.
To provide every child and family with equal learning opportunities to become prepared for public school.
In 1974, Otero Junior College received the award for the Head Start and Parent-Child Center programs to serve Otero, Crowley and Bent Counties in southeastern Colorado. Otero Junior College established Child Development Services.
In 1985 Child Development Services Head Start program expanded and opened a center in Prowers County. In that same year, Otero Junior College became the grantee for the Migrant Head Start Program for Otero and Prowers counties.
In 1988 Child Development Services received funding for the Colorado Preschool Program.
In 1994, the Child Development Services Migrant Head Start program expanded its service area and opened centers in the counties of Pueblo, Alamosa and Rio Grande.
In 2009 Otero Junior College Child Development Services received notification of Early Head Start expansion to include the counties of Bent and Pueblo to the existing counties of Crowley and Otero.
Since the inception of Child Development Services, Otero Junior College has advocated for and provided a strong community presence for both families and staff participating in the programs offered by Child Development Services. In addition, Otero Junior College provides the infrastructure for financial management, program governance, human resource management and staff development. The college as well as the central office for Child Development Services is located in La Junta, Colorado.