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Children listening to a teacher as she reads from a book during storytime



The St. Charles Children's Learning Center was established to provide College of Southern Maryland students, faculty and staff, as well as, community members with quality, child-centered care.  The Center enhances the lives of children, their families, and the greater Southern Maryland community.

The Center, which opened on January 30, 2006, with 20 students ages 2-4 years old, now offers care for 97 students ages 24 months to 12 years old.

The St. Charles Children's Learning Center is located on the College of Southern Maryland's La Plata Campus and offers 10,000 square feet of learning space including nine child-centered classrooms, a gymnasium, and a prep kitchen.  In addition, the Center has its own private landscaped playground and access to the campus grounds.


Since its inception, the St. Charles Children's Learning Center and its staff have been devoted to creating an environment that helps children interact with their world and peers - building confidence, self-esteem, and a life-long love of learning.

Who We Serve

As a result of our location and association with the College of Southern Maryland, the St. Charles Children’s Learning Center:

  • Reserves 25% of its spaces specifically for the children of students at the College of Southern Maryland
  • Provides a discount to the College of Southern Maryland students enrolled in six (6) credit hours or more
  • Partners with the college’s Early Childhood Education (ECE) program to provide students with learning and mentorship opportunities
  • Recruits ECE students for employment and training through the Center
  • Approximately 50% of CLC employees are current or former College of Southern Maryland students, most pursuing ECE or Early Elementary Education degrees

The CSM Advantage

Partnerships developed with the College of Southern Maryland allow the Center to offer children world-class learning opportunities, including:

  • Hands-on projects taught by professors and field experts, including cooking and archeology
  • Attending performances at the college’s Fine Arts Center
  • Visits to the Tony Hungerford Memorial Gallery to view regional and national art
  • Readings from our local 'celebrities' including county commissioners, special guests, and others

Child looking over the wall of a playground toyMore than $500,000 of the Center’s original construction costs were donated by community members, business leaders, students, and members of the college’s faculty and staff.  The Center is proud that the support of the college and the community are still integral to the success of the Center, its employees, and the children who learn here.  Whether it is a County Commissioner reading storybooks to a class, a college staff member who provides hands-on career presentations, or a parent volunteer willing to help with a class field trip, developing and maintaining the bonds of community and family are at the heart of the Center’s daily activities.

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