Fredrickson Family Early Childhood Center at California Lutheran University

Location: 60 W. Olsen Road
Thousand Oaks, CA 91360
Phone: 805-493-3247
Program Director: Elaine Davi
Ages served: Newborn through 6 years
Enrollment capacity: 6 infants, 8 toddlers, 49 preschoolers
Hours of operation: 7:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Type: Private, Non-profit, Faith-related, University-related, Licensed, Suburban


Philosophy Statement

Beginning in 1974 the Fredrickson Family Early Childhood Center, formerly called House on the Hill or CLUECC, has always been rooted in the Lutheran tradition of education that emphasizes Christian faith and principles. The center provides a hands-on learning environment for children ages newborn to 6 years of age. Curriculum goals empower each child to develop critical thinking skills by daily exposure to a variety of learning opportunities in both the indoor and outdoor classroom environment. Our ultimate goal is to see each child develop into a self-confident, flexible, creative, and joyful person.We believe in providing endless opportunities for children to engage in the wonders and magic of nature. We are deeply committed to the belief that children need to have uninterrupted time to play, explore, and use all of their senses to make meaning of their world.

We believe that children are curious, capable and rich with potential. We are committed to ensure that children build authentic relationships within a natural environment.


Special Center | Site Features

  • Our location on a University campus enriches our curriculum in numerous ways. To name a few, the biology students provide a morning of hands-on science centers for the children at least once a year. Motor development students engage the children in movement activities on a weekly basis. Exploring the “bigger” campus allows our children to have multiple learning opportunities on a daily basis.
  • Our creek area with rocks to climb, a hand pump to make the water flow, situated adjacent to our “Messy Kitchen” and sandbox, entices children to take off their shoes and enjoy!
  • Multiple garden boxes spread throughout the outdoor environment enable the children to plant, nurture, and harvest vegetables and herbs.
  • Picnic tables abound so the children cannot only enjoy lunch and snacks outdoors, but also have a work space for their many projects.
  • The climbing area is adjacent to the Outlast shed and large building block area and is one of the children’s favorite places to create elaborate structures. Using blankets to create cozy spaces the children are always busy using their imaginations and muscles as they transport the blocks to make…
  • Two playhouses, one set-up more traditionally with dishes, sink, stove, and a loft area for snuggling with a blanket, doll and book, the other is built as a walk-through, open air house with big windows and tables, allowing open-ended and imaginative play.
  • Our double looped bike path can be extended for a longer ride by opening up the gate between the toddler and preschool yards.
  • Our latest addition, our “Mother tree”, planted in memory of all our moms that have passed away, is situated on a hillside and provides a shady spot to sit alone or with a friend and watch the clouds drift in the sky.
  • Our Parent Bulletin boards with pictures that are updated weekly provide parents a glimpse into the active day of their child at our center. Information about Family Fun weekend or evening activities in the community are posted as well.

Additional Info

Our center has been open since 1974; however our dream to build a preschool with an emphasis on the outdoor environment really began over 10 years ago when our staff took a trip out to the Child Educational Center and explored their school. It cemented in our minds that we wanted to design our new center, which opened in April of 2011, with the goal of creating an outdoor space where the children could actively pursue their innate curiosity to explore and make long life connections with nature. We are very proud to

be a Demonstration Site for the Outdoor Classroom project as well as a Nature Explore Outdoor Classroom. The staff is dedicated and committed to promoting an indoor-outdoor flow, to assessing the environment on a daily basis and making changes as the needs of the children and our families change. We host many family events in our outdoor space and encourage our families to come get wet, muddy, and dirty….so come and play with us!

Click any image to see full size