In addition to sponsoring a network of over 150+  privately owned early childhood learning centers in 5 counties, Cornerstone has had its own early learning center since 1892.  The Rosa Valdez Early Childhood Learning Center and Lab School is one of only 2 Nationally Accredited Childcare Centers in the inner-city neighborhood known as Old West Tampa.

The Center has always set the standard for high quality care, low teacher-to-child ratios, degreed staff and an enriched learning environment.  In addition to literacy based curriculum, the Center provides developmental assessments, positive behavior support, nutritious food, family support and lots of love and care for the children and families who are part of the Rosa family.

The Rosa Valdez Early Childhood Learning Center accepts School Readiness Vouchers and provides scholarships funded by the faith community, private foundations, corporations, and individual donors.  The center can serve up to 72 children.

Early Learning Lab School

In addition, in 2015, the Center established itself as an Early Learning Laboratory for adults seeking their degrees in Early Childhood Education. Leveraging the State of Florida TEACH scholarship and private funding, the Rosa Valdez Lab School assists with tuition costs (80% of tuition and books) and provides mentoring, paid and unpaid internships that include study time and discounted childcare, tutoring for test prep, as well as credentialing and testing fees. From 2015-2019, eight women have graduated with their BA and/or AA degrees as part of the program and some didn’t even have their high school diploma when they began!  In addition, one of the eight is currently enrolled in a graduate program.  Seven of these women are the first in their families to graduate from college with and the eight graduate is the daughter of one the initial seven….now that is how you break the cycle of poverty!

The center documents and shares it’s best practices with other centers in it’s network with the hope that all economically disadvantaged children will have access to safe affordable quality early child care.

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