4850 E. Cesar Chavez Avenue - Los Angeles, CA 90022 
 (323) 268-4600 Fax (323) 526-9068
Centro de Niños, Inc. - Celebrating over 42 years of childcare and child development for the community.
Centro de Niños, Inc.
Stimulating the Imagination and Creativity in Children
Program Services
Events & Activities
Staff & Parents

Musical Garden and Mural
We were lucky enough to have LA Mural Front paint a mural in our children's garden. The murals depict the children playing musical instruments. Here the children can learn about the cycle of life by planting and harvesting fruits and vegetables.


On December 12th, 2105 Centro hosted our annual food & book giveaway. 

 A special thank you to all of our sponsors, including Professional Lawyers Group, The Candy & Aaron Spelling Foundation, CHM2 Hill, Navidad en el Barrio, Alta Med, Richard & Angie Alatorre and
Southern California Gas

This is an important annual event, please look through our photos and consider joining us in 2016. We are always in need of sponsors and volunteers!  

The Tobar-Espino family has lived in three countries, but has always called Los Angeles home. Virgina Espino is from a Mexican-American family with roots in Chihuahua and Guanajuato; Héctor Tobar is the son of Guatemalan immigrants. They have been married since 1993, when they both quit their L.A. jobs to go to graduate school. Virginia, then an elementary school teacher in Boyle Heights, pursued a PhD in History, first at Claremont Graduate School, and then at Arizona State; and Héctor left the Los Angeles Times to earn an MFA in Creative Writing from UC Irvine. Virginia eventually earned her doctorate in History, and currently works as a researcher and interviewer for the Center for Oral History at UCLA. Héctor went on to write four books, including two novels. He also returned to the L.A. Times, where he was a national correspondent and foreign correspondent and book critic. 

The family’s two oldest boys, Dante and Diego, were born in California but raised with Hector and Virginia in homes in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Mexico City, where Hector worked as a foreign correspondent. Their youngest daughter, Luna, age 10, was born on the night of a full moon in Buenos Aires, Argentina; she is a passionate reader and rock climber. Dante is now a student at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York, while Diego is studying Latin, Drama and other subjects at Flintridge Preparatory School. The Tobar family has always tried to teach their children about the variety and richness of Latino history and culture. They have traveled extensively through Latin America; from rural Argentina, to Uruguay and Ouro Preto, Brazil, and Tlaxcala, Tula and Xochicalco in Mexico. 

In their professional work, Virginia and Héctor have sought to preserve, defend, and advocate for the Latino community, and to celebrate the community’s fortitude. Virginia’s doctoral dissertation examined the sterilization without consent of Mexican women at Los Angeles County General Hospital in the 1970s, and the Chicana-led efforts to end forced sterilization. Her work is set to be released this year as a film, partially funding by public television, called “No Más Bebes Por Vida.” 

As a researcher at UCLA, Virginia has worked to build the university’s oral history collection, conducting dozens of interviews with Latino and labor activists who are key figures in U.S. and Southern California history. Héctor’s work at the L.A. Times included countless articles covering elections and revolutions in Latin America, and immigration in California. His four books take on various aspects of Latino identity; from the Guatemalan refugees in his first novel “The Tattooed Soldier,” to the idiosyncratic artist and housekeeper anti-hero of “The Barbarian Nurseries,” his second novel, which won the California Book Award and was a New York Times notable book. His nonfiction “Translation Nation: Defining a New American Identity in the Spanish-Speaking United States” describe the spread of Latino culture across the U.S. His most recent book on the Chilean miners, “Deep Down Dark,” was a New York Times bestseller and a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. 

Graduation 2015!

Every year we celebrate our graduates in a special way and this year was no different. The children performed, singing songs inspired by the Lion King and they all received a diploma from Centro and a backpack embroidered with their names provided by the Parent Committee. 

A party for the students and their families was held after the ceremony -- a great time was had by all! 

The Tobar-Espino family - Our 2015 Latino Family of the Year!  
It's time again to vote for our Latino Family of the Year! Please read the biographies of our nominated families and vote by clicking here. 

Please plan on joining us this year at the event on Sunday June 4th 2017 at Almansor Court in Alhambra, California - we would love to see you!

Darrel and Anna Sauceda​ - Our 2016 Latino Family of the Year!

Darrel and Anna Sauceda are a family that holds the values of commitment, integrity and loyalty in both their personal and professional lives. As a family, they believe that "Our passion for helping others and our expertise for constructing and creating positive change is the best way to use our God given talents." Darrel and Anna have worked tirelessly to grow their company from a small residential construction company into a multi-million dollar government and commercial construction company, Associated Construction Services Group (ACS). Darrel has propelled a Hispanic owned construction business from a small interior remodel contractor to multi-million dollar government and commercial contractor. Listed in the Hispanic Business Magazine three years in a row as a top 500 growing Hispanic Businesses nation-wide.

Darrel was born and raised in the lush farmland region of Imperial Valley, in the City of El Centro, California. Darrel grew up knowing first-hand the hard working farm ethic of the Imperial Valley. Darrel has the experience working on various federally and state funded projects and understands agency needs and what is required “to get the job done.” 

Together Anna and Darrel manage a dedicated group of professionals (four of them their own children) that perform projects for the government on numerous military bases through the 8a program as well as provide construction services for medical facilities, community centers, senior housing throughout Southern California. In Addition, ACS GROUP has been awarded a Small Business Weatherization Contract through the Gas Company. The Weatherization contract allows ACS to assess, qualify and go into the homes of thousands of families in the surrounding communities to increase their quality of life by educating them on energy sustainability and weatherize their homes.  Darrel is also a Master Mason; the Mason Lodge he participates in extends its support to the youth in the local Whittier Community. Darrel also gives of his personal time to support The Willie G Ministries for youth at risk. 

Born and raised in Los Angeles, California Anna has always demonstrated her desire and passion to help others. Over the past 25 years she demonstrated her commitment by providing vital services to the communities on the Greater Los Angeles Area. Under her leadership as a Teacher, Executive Director of the East Los Angeles YMCA or Vice President of the TELACU Foundation she has continued to make a difference in the lives of others. 

Today, Anna Sauceda serves as a board member of the California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce and is the Chair of the Latina Business Initiatives. She offers her talents and resources through mentoring other Latina business owners with opportunities she has created so their businesses will flourish. Through her efforts the CHCC has established a Latina Empresario Day that is designed to assist Latina Small Business owners. Anna’s commitment to community finds her actively serving as a Board Member on several boards that support women and families.

"Our children and team realize the responsibility to show other who we are and what we are made of daily, my prayer is that Our Legacy of hard work, determination to do great work and the love for those in need will reap the Blessings over our lives."

Maria and Raul Salinas are two professionals and parents that have demonstrated the successful balance of career and family. Maria Salinas is the President and Founder of Salinas Consulting, a financing and accounting project management firm. She founded her own company in 2006 to service clients in the corporate sector.  In 2010, Salinas Consulting was the recipient of the Professional Services Award from the National Latina Business Women’s Professional Association of Los Angeles. Previous to founding her own firm, Maria held financial leadership roles at Walt Disney company. 

Ms. Salinas serves on the Board of Directors of ProAmerica Bank, the first Latino-‐owned business bank in California in over 35 years.  Ms. Salinas is a member of the Board of Regents of Loyola Marymount University (LMU). At LMU, Ms. Salinas has a long history of playing a leadership role in raising scholarship funds for Latino students with the Mexican American Alumni Association, now named the Latino Alumni Association. She is a founding member of HOPE (Hispanas Organized for Political Equality).

Ms. Salinas’ history of community involvement has also been an integral part of her professional career. 

Raul F. Salinas is the Managing Shareholder in the firm's Los Angeles office. He has extensive business, government and international litigation experience, and handles a wide range of major litigation cases in a number of industries for public and private sector clients. His practice areas include employment, civil public integrity prosecutions, commercial, and cross-border agreements for public and private institutions in both the United States and Mexico. 

He also regularly advises public entities on issues pertaining to public law affecting personnel, government contracts, conflict of interest matters and other municipal related matters. 

Maria and Raul have assisted several community based organizations to grow into mature organization that can provide a voice for the community they serve. Together, they have advocated for the advancement of women and minorities in business, government and education.

In 2003, the United Latino Fund honored Raul & Maria for outstanding service to the Latino community. In 2009, they were honored with KCET’s Local Hero award for their community service. Maria and Raul reside in Pasadena with their four sons, Alejandro, Nicholas, Francisco & Gabriel. 

Familia Salinas 

Hilary Norton’s career spans 25 years in public policy, community development, and transportation. Hilary became FAST’s founding Executive Director in 2008. FAST advocates for and implements solutions to address Los Angeles County gridlock. 

Hilary Co-Chairs the BizFed / Metro Transportation Roundtable, is Co-Vice Chair of the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce’s Transportation and Goods Movement Council.  Hilary is a member of the City of Los Angeles’ Mobility Element Task Force, Vision LA’s Advisory Committee, and many other land use, economic development and transportation committees addressing growth in Los Angeles.

In recognition of Hilary’s work in transportation, Ms. Norton was elected to Lambda Alpha International in 2014. Hilary holds a BA from Wellesley College and a MPP from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.

Gerard J. Orozco is a native Angeleno and was educated in local public schools.  He is a former United Nations Fellow and has an over 25-year career in serving the community. As a young man he served in the Los Angeles Council District office of Richard Alatorre. His career then took him on to work for the City of Los Angeles where he specialized in transportation issues. He went on to work for CH2MHill, where he currently serves as a Senior Vice President.

CH2M Hill leads the professional services industry delivering sustainable solutions benefiting societal, environmental, and economic, outcomes with development of infrastructure and industry. They are ranked among the World’s Most Ethical Companies and top firms in environmental consulting and program management. In 2016, they became the first professional services firm honored with World Environment Center Gold Medal Award for efforts advancing sustainable development.

Gerard travels extensively on behalf of CH2M Hill, he can always be counted on to support programs that benefit the greater community, especially those that address the needs of women and children.

Though they maintain separate households, they are an example of exceptional commitment to family and you will often find Hilary or Gerard with their children Xavier and Eva volunteering for a community project, as individuals or as a family.

Familia Orozco y Norton
Familia Robles

Of Mexican and El Salvadorian ancestry, Ricardo and Ana Robles are long-term Pasadena/Altadena residents who were educated in Pasadena Unified School District and continue to live and work in the community. Their deep commitment to family and community is evident to all around them. 

Their service to the community is not momentary; it is ongoing and reflects a consistency born of dedication and years of effort. The Robles family engages others face to face to build relationships, and "walks their talk."  Five of the family members are now at McKinley School of The Arts in Pasadena (four working and one attending), which they are committed to revitalizing.  

Ricardo, a staff member at the school, works tirelessly to raise the profile of the school on social media documenting the various enriching activities offered by the school - he is known as "The Selfie King" for his supportive efforts to the school. 

Due to his exemplary leadership in the recent Pasadena area Latino History Parade, Ricardo was elected chair of the event and has been tasked with expanding participation. 

From the oldest to the youngest, the Robles’s have organized drives to collect backpacks for low-income students and toiletries for the homeless. They have also provided self-defense classes for women, as Ricardo and his brother Rollie are trainers and Mixed Martial Arts expert. The family has given their time and organized fundraising efforts to assist overseas projects for unemployed African mothers, and more. 

Ana sells her one-of-a-kind jewelry to raise funds for charitable causes, with the most recent recipient being the family fund of four year-old Salvador Esparza III, who was shot to death.

The Robles family represents the kind of values that characterize the Latino community.  Their ongoing work and contributions both to their family and communities are invaluable examples for all of us.