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Harbor-UCLA KinderCare

Amber Laugeson, Center Director

975 West Carson St. Torrance CA 90502
(310) 222-4274 Contact this center

Ages: 6 WEEKS to 6 YEARS

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Special Instructions:
Across from Harbor UCLA Medical Center.

Elementary Schools Bussed To:
Currently, we do not provide bus service to any schools.

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Welcome to the Harbor UCLA Children’s Center WebPage. We are pleased you have come to learn more about our fabulous KinderCare programs. Take some time to explore this site, learn more about what we have to offer, and the teachers who bring such great care to the children. We are more than happy to answer any questions you may have, so feel free to contact us via phone, email, or even an in-person visit sometime soon.

Amber Laugeson, Center Director

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Many of our child care centers are accredited by national organizations that require us to meet rigorous early childhood education standards and guidelines for high-quality care and education. Programs that are accredited have demonstrated their commitment to go beyond the state’s minimum licensing requirements to meet and maintain these high standards of quality.

Our Programs

Infant Programs (6 weeks - 1 year)

Babies grow and learn every day. Our goal is to provide a safe and nurturing "home away from home" where babies can explore and make new discoveries. We know that learning through play is extremely valuable at this age and our Early Foundations® Infant program is designed to give babies the skills that will serve as the building blocks for a lifetime of learning.

Toddler Programs (1 – 2 Years)

As toddlers develop friendships, self-esteem, and curiosity, our Early Foundations® Toddler program will help them explore their world in a safe and nurturing environment. Our unique curriculum is based on the philosophy that children learn best through experiences. So each day is filled with fun activities that excite and develop toddlers, giving them the comfort and confidence to speak those first few important words, as well as make their first friends.

Preschool Programs (3 – 4 Years)

As preschoolers gain more self-esteem, they may feel ready to take on the world. Our Early Foundations® Preschool program enhances that confidence by providing activities to help children become problem solvers and lifelong learners. Through independent exploration, structured activities, and hands-on learning, children will work on early literacy, math, science, and social studies concepts. A healthy dose of running, jumping, and dancing keeps them active too.

Prekindergarten Programs (4 – 5 Years)

Prekindergartners are preparing for the adventure of a lifetime – school. And our Early Foundations Prekindergarten® program is designed to get them ready by teaching letters and words, math concepts, and valuable social skills. With small group instruction, independent play in an organized atmosphere, and whole-group activities, children will have all the right skills to hop, skip, and jump right into kindergarten.

Private Kindergarten Programs (5 – 6 Years)

As children reach school age, our comprehensive full-day kindergarten program helps them explore, communicate, and create – all in a nurturing, small-class setting. Our team of expert educators has created a unique curriculum of reading, language, arts, math, science, and physical fitness that’s presented in a fun way to encourage a lifelong love of learning. Plus, our program is aligned with local and state elementary school standards, so children will be prepared to confidently enter first grade.

Learning Adventures - Enrichment Program


The Cooking Adventures program gives children opportunities to participate in fun, developmentally appropriate cooking experiences. They will learn about recipes, ingredients, cooking vocabulary, and the importance of a healthy diet. The curriculum includes lessons on picnics, pizza, and heart-healthy meals.


The Math Adventures enrichment program is designed to teach important mathematics concepts such as geometry, numbers, measurement, and probability. Your child will learn about length, height, and weight. He will learn about shapes and solids. He will learn how to add, subtract, multiply, and count money. Math is everywhere and giving your child every advantage now will add up to success later in life.


Ongoing research proves that early exposure to music helps children think, reason, create, and express themselves. Children will laugh and learn about rhythm, vocal melodies, and a variety of musical genres and instruments, which can lower stress and advance memory. Learning never sounded so good.

Phonics & Reading Adventures

Set your child up for advanced success with literacy through phonics, the study of letters and sounds. Reader books, games, and activity cards help your child understand the basics of vowels and blending syllables, giving him confidence and command of language.

Creative Arts

Upcoming Events at our CenterView All Events

  1. Sunday January 01, 2017
    1. January's Learning Focus

      Children 6 weeks to 3 years old: Light and Dark, plus the Sky and Weather

      Through shadow play, experiments with flashlights, observing the Sun and more, infants and toddlers will enjoy learning about light and dark this month. Infants continue sensory development by looking at contrasting patterns and at objects that are clearly defined by sharp edges and bright colors, while toddlers will build on their understanding of the light and dark concepts with play around daytime and nighttime. The older Discovery Preschool children will turn their attention to the sky as they learn about weather, the Moon, the Sun, and stars.

      Children 4–5 years old: Transportation, Healthy Bodies, and Winter

      For children in the Preschool and Kindergarten classrooms, January is filled with variety! They’ll begin by learning about transportation and studying how things get from “here” to “there.” A few weeks later, the focus will shift to health and bodies, with an emphasis placed on how to make good choices for a growing body. Towards the end of the month, children will be introduced to the transformative nature of the winter season and learn how to dress and take care of themselves when it’s cold outside. 

  2. Monday December 26, 2016
    1. Center Closed in Observance of Christmas Day

Teachers & Staff

At Harbor UCLA Children’s Center, you will experience quality care and feel the genuine love that we have for all our students. Our curriculum is engaging and fun, which is evident throughout the classrooms because our students are happy to demonstrate their gratitude towards us on a daily basis. Harbor UCLA Children’s Center Staff will has many years of experience. Come meet us personally, as we want you to become a part of our family!

  • Amber Laugeson

    Amber Laugeson, Center Director

    Being an educator is such a pleasure and honor to positively influence the lives of so many children and their families on a regular basis.

    Ms. Amber has held numerious postions throughout her career from teacher to behavior therapist and is thrilled to be a KinderCare Center Director. She believes that every title and effort is worth every moment when a child expresses their appreciation for learning.

    Year Started:
    2 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    15 Years
    MA in Early Childhood Education
  • Yvette Martinez

    Yvette Martinez, Assistant Director

    Working with children and other profressionals in the ECE field is the motivation I need to continue to grow in my career.

    Ms. Yvette has worked with all age groups here at Harbor UCLA Children’s Center. Ms. Yvette gains experience throughout the day from all the different classrooms she works in. She knows she helps children grow and enjoy learning.

    Year Started:
    9 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    16 years
    Certificate in Early Childhood Education
  • Ms. Mary

    Ms. Mary, Infant Classroom

    Every child in my classroom is someone's whole world!

    Ms. Mary loves her job because she loves working with children. Ms. Mary enjoys singing to them, playing with them, and reading to them. Ms. Mary loves to see a smile on all the children's faces when she enters her classroom. She demonstrates enthusiasm in the development of young children. Ms. Mary demonstrates a record of high performance standards in child care.

    Year Started:
    5 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    25 years
    Associate's Degree in Child Development
  • Ms. Yolanda

    Ms. Yolanda, Infant Classroom

    Tell me and forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.

    Ms. Yolanda enjoys working with the infants and watching them transition to the toddler room. She enjoys the process of helping them walk, learning to eat, drink by themselves and explore their environment.

    Year Started:
    7 Years
  • Ms. Rickie

    Ms. Rickie, Preschool Classroom

    Children are experts at embracing life, which inspires me to be the best teacher that I can be.

    Ms. Rickie also joined our center this past summer and is currenly supporting the preschool classroom. She is ambitious to gain more experience in this field and to give as much as she can to the education of young children. We are thrilled to have her as a part of our team.

    Year Started:
    1 Year
  • Ms. La Shanda

    Ms. La Shanda, Preschool Classrooom

    I love seeing creativity at its finest through various expressions of young children.

    Ms. La Shanda joined our team this past summer and is leading the preschool classroom with much creativity. She is currently attending higher education to further her knowledge in the early childhood education field. We are excited to see all that she can bring to our small community.

    Year Started:
    1 Year
  • Ms. Demi

    Ms. Demi, Toddler Classroom

    Hold my hand and I will guide you as you learn and grow I will be beside you.

    Ms. Demi enjoys coming to work each day seeing the children smile and helping them achieve their development milestones.

    Year Started:
    3 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    3 years
    Associate's Degree
  • Ms. Ramona

    Ms. Ramona, Toddler Classroom

    How wonderful is it to wake up in the morning knowing that today I will make a difference in a child's life.

    Ms. Ramona is for children; she trust that children are able to complete any age appropriate task that is given to them. Ms. Ramona loves when children discover that they can accomplish assignments that they were previously unsure of.

    Previous Experience:
    Early Child Development
    Year Started:
    14 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    15 years
    Certification in Early Education
  • Ms. Brenda

    Ms. Brenda, Preschool Classroom

    Children are naturally happy and their joy brings happiness to me.

    Ms. Brenda loves to praise children continuously. Seeing the fascination children have with the world around them reminds her of her own childhood. She expresses that their excitement to learn inspires her.

    Previous Experience:
    Child Development
    Year Started:
    5 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    4 years
    Associate's Degree
  • Ms. Lucia

    Ms. Lucia, Prekindergarten Classroom

    I love to make a difference in the children's lives and be a part of their early childhood education.

    Ms. Lucia has been working for KinderCare for eight years. She first started her career at one of our sister schools in Torrance. She then came to work at Harbor UCLA Children's Center where she has worked with children from infants all the way to her current position the Prekindergarten class. Ms. Lucia has been the Health and Safety Coordinator for three years and feels passionate about keeping the children in her care safe. Ms. Lucia has received her teacher's permit and is continuing her education at Harbor College.

    Year Started:
    12 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    8 Years
    Teaching Permit
  • Ms. Maureen

    Ms. Maureen, Prekindergarten Classroom

    Be the teacher you always wanted to have.

    Ms. Maureen is always striving to engage children in the play they are most interested in. Her goal is to build strong relationships with the children and to always be someone they can turn to for help and support.

    Year Started:
    18 Years
  • Ms. Monica

    Ms. Monica, Kindergarten Classroom

    Education is the key to life and the brightness of our future.

    Ms. Monica strives to be a teacher that supports children to achieve their educational potential and to become self-determining in all personal areas. Teaching is her priority and everyone around Ms. Monica benefits from her commitment to the field.

    Previous Experience:
    Early Child Education
    Year Started:
    12 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    8 years
    Certification in Early Child Development
  • Ms. Anna

    Ms. Anna, Learning Adventures Classroom

    A child's imagination should be fostered in as many ways possible. This is creativity at its finest.

    Ms. Anna has been at our center since 2010. She comes to us with her Associate's Degree in Child Development and many years of experience. She is currently working on her Bachelor's in Nutrition and Dietetics, but her passion for children has not let her drift always from us. She currently runs a successful Learning Adventures program. She and her students have formed a close bond, as they work in small groups.

    Year Started:
    6 Years
    Years in ECE industry:
    12 years
    Associate's Degree in Child Development, pursuing Bachelor's Degree in Nutrition and Dietetics

December 2016 Events

December Hero Image
Filter Center Calendar
  1. Thursday December 01, 2016
    1. December's Learning Focus

      Children 6 weeks to 3 years old: Family, Friends, and Things that Go!

      Infants and toddlers will be exploring family and friends, while three-year-olds will focus on things that go vroom! Social and emotional development is foundational to growth and development in babies, so this month, infants and toddlers will participate in activities that reinforce their connection to family while also exploring connections that exist outside their home, such as friends. Meanwhile, their older friends in Discovery Preschool will learn about and play around with things that move (like bicycles, cars, buses, trains, and airplanes), which are all very exciting for little ones as they continue to explore the world outside their homes. 

      Children 4–5 years old: My Country + Tools and Machines

      The four- and five-year-olds continue exploring the world around them by learning about the state and country they live in! They’ll sings songs, play games based on travel, and learn about flags, state foods, and more. Children will also be introduced to cardinal directions (east, west, north, and south) and gain an appreciation for travel and meeting new friends from different places. 

      Children are naturally fascinated with machines and how things work and are put together. So to encourage that fascination, during the second half of this month children will learn about and play around with tools and machines. In addition to building literacy skills by using the names of machines and tools, children will develop math skills by graphing information, counting wheels, and more.

  2. Monday December 26, 2016
    1. Center Closed in Observance of Christmas Day

About Our Center

Harbor UCLA Children’s Center is part of the KinderCare family and we are located on Carson Street right across from the main entrance of the Harbor UCLA Medical Center. Our Center has a fun, loving and educational learning environment. We have enrollment for six classes: Infants, Toddlers, Preschool, Pre-Kindergarten, Kindergarten and a Learning Adventures extracurricular classroom for all our tutoring programs. We take great pride in our Early Childhood Education Curriculum known as Early Foundations for the Infant through Pre-Kindergarten classes. A Private Kindergarten curriculum is implemented for our Kindergarten class. For further enrichment, the Learning Adventures consist of programs as such, Phonics, Reading, Math, Cooking, Music and so much more.

Special Features

  • Learning Adventures

Languages Spoken at Our Center

  • Spanish

Meals & Menus

Meals Served

  • AM Snack
  • PM Snack

Holidays Observed

We observe the following holidays:

  • New Year's Day
  • President's Day
  • Memorial Day
  • 4th of July
  • Labor Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Day after Thanksgiving
  • Christmas Day

Please note that because holidays observed may vary between centers, please be sure to check with your Center Director for specific closures.

Health and Safety

Here at Harbor UCLA Children's Center it is our number one priority to make sure that children are in a safe, clean, healthy environment. To help ensure this for parents we have daily sign-in and out procedures, strict parent/guardian identification release procedures, pin coded entrance, daily classroom observations for safe and age appropriate toys, weekly safety protocol practices, and monthly disaster drills. Plus our daily cleanliness and maintenance schedules leave nothing at all to chance for each and every child here in our center. – Lucia G. Health & Safety Coordinator

At KinderCare, what families say about us means a lot. Read below some of the great experiences our families have had with us.

Share Your Story
If you have a story about your experience at KinderCare, please share your story with us.

My son has been going here since the beginning of the year. This school is very convenient for me, as it is walking distance from work. You need to be buzzed in to gain entry into the school, a nice safety measure. Overall, the school is bright and colorful, everything is nicely labeled, there are family pictures everywhere and, most importantly, the children are happy and well-mannered!!! This is a nice, clean facility, and the teachers are all really nice and easy to talk with.

- Parent

I want to take this time to express how grateful I am for my daughter’s education. My daughter began at Harbor UCLA Children’s Center KinderCare on March 9, 2010 she was only three years old. My daughter loved going to school on a daily basis and would miss her teachers during the weekend, it means a lot to a parent who has to work everyday and feels comfortable leaving their child with these gentle, loving and educated women.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> The whole staff has been amazing and a special thank you to Ms. Monica in the Kindergarten class. My hat goes off to you; my family and I are extremely satisfied with the style, quality, and consistency you have in teaching young children. Today was our daughter’s first day of school, my wife and I were extremely nervous. Our princess had always been in a smaller learning environment and here she was going, to this huge new school. Luckily, today was a short day and she was going to be off from school early. When we picked her up my wife and I walked over to her teacher and introduced ourselves. The teacher then asked us, what school she came from?” my wife said from Harbor UCLA Children’s Center KinderCare. The teacher then said “your daughter is really smart, keep up the good work and do not stop doing what you have been doing.” As my wife and I are walking through the huge playground, tears began coming down her face she was saying “omg what are we going to do without Ms. Monica, and the rest of KinderCare?…look at how much they have helped us with our daughter. I could not wait to come back to work and tell someone about this incredible experience.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> I whole heartedly know that KinderCare is the best thing that has happened to our family, I truly recommend this school to all my friends and family.

- Father

See what’s happening on the blog

Our staff would like to welcome you to visit our center. The staff takes pride in keeping up to date with the latest trends in Early Childhood Education. Ongoing training is offered to the staff during the year at the center and though the various training opportunities in the community.

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Resources for Parents

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