About Centro Mater

History

Centro Mater Child Care Services (CMCCS) was founded in 1968 by Mother Margarita Miranda Otero—a member of the Society of the Sacred Heart in Cuba—who recognized a desperate need for child care services among the newly exiled Cuban families in Miami. Miranda Otero established the organization in an effort to provide the necessary care and protection for South Florida’s growing immigrant youth population as their parents strived to obtain financial independence in a foreign world.

Over time, the center expanded its reach, from the streets of Little Havana, to Hialeah Gardens, and eventually, Hialeah. These expansions allowed them to service, previously underserved neighborhoods where immigrants suffering from socio-economic disadvantages have historically concentrated. And while founded upon a Cuban and Catholic base, Centro Mater serves children and families of every nationality, faith and race—nearly 1,200 annually. This belief is deeply rooted in the organization’s motto: Because at Centro Mater, every child MATERs.

Our Programs

Care for Infants and Toddlers

6 weeks to 36 months

The Centro Mater staff works with the youngest of children during the most crucial developmental years of their life, just as they begin to understand the world. At this stage, a creative curriculum is used, which provides a comprehensive framework that emphasizes relationships between the children their caregivers, teachers and their families.

Pre-school program

3 to 5 years

The High Scope Educational Curriculum is introduced, which includes content areas for children, and a training model to help adults use the programs of study to support children's development.

After School Care

5 to 12 years

This aspect of the program provides high-quality after-school and full-day summer camp activities for primarily at-risk, low-income children (5% of which are children with disabilities), promoting academic achievement, healthy lifestyles and social skills.

Our Awards

Our Centers have been honored with the following National Accreditations:

The National Association for the Education of Young Children:
Centro Mater West, Centro Mater West II, Centro Mater Walker Park, Centro Mater East II.

The National After-School Association:
Centro Mater West II

The Gold Seal of Accreditation from the Florida Association for Child Care Management (FACCM)
Centro Mater East

All centers have received the Five (5) STAR rating from Quality Count

Our Staff

In terms of cultural background, race and ethnicity, the composition of Centro Mater’s administration mirrors the diverse communities it serves.

In addition, our staff members are trained to be culturally sensitive to the needs of clients. Centro Mater’s teaching staff is bilingual (English and Spanish). All forms, newsletters, menus, and announcements are provided in English and Spanish. Furthermore, all activities and events support and respect the various cultures, languages, ethnicities, and religious beliefs of served families.

Our Structure

Since 2007, Centro Mater Child Care Services Inc. has been managed by Catholic Health Services (CHS) within the Archdiocese of Miami. CHS Administrative services supports Centro Mater’s facilities and programs through executive leadership; strategic planning and development; budget preparation; financial reporting and accounting services; information technology management; human resource support; program supervision; risk management services; materials management; and all monitoring of structural stabilities.

Along with the Centro Mater Foundation, CMCCS receives funds from:

  • Miami-Dade County’s Head Start/Early Head Start
  • The Children’s Trust
  • Child Care Food Program
  • Miami-Dade County’s Community Based Organizations
  • City of Miami’s Department of Community Development
  • United Way
  • Child Development Services
  • Peacock Foundation
  • The Health Foundation of South Florida.

Centro Mater is overseen by various governmental agencies and must adhere to the most stringent of requirements and regulations. Those responsible for oversight include:

  • The Department of Children and Families
  • U.S. Department of Health
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture
  • State and Local funding sources, including Miami-Dade County Head Start/Early Head Start, United Way, and The Children’s Trust