The Gulf Coast Center for Child Development (GCCCD) at The University of Southern Mississippi is a dual purpose early childhood education and care center.  The Center provides high quality educational and care services to children eight-weeks to five-years-old and serves as an academic teaching and research facility for students and faculty across the university.  The GCCCD operates through the Department of Child and Family Studies in the College of Education and Psychology.

The Center for Child Development operates on two campuses.  The Hattiesburg campus is located at 3400 Morningside Drive (on the northwest edge of USM’s Hattiesburg campus).  The Gulf Coast campus is located at 205 Leovy Avenue in Pass Christian (on the campus of Pass Christian Elementary).  The CCD provides interactive experiences for students majoring in Child and Family Studies through access to its full-day early care and education program for children ages 8 weeks to 5 years. Upon graduation, these students take the expertise gained through this experience into their careers as pre-K and kindergarten teachers in public and private schools, preschool teachers, infant/toddler childcare providers, directors of early childhood programs, and other family-related professions. The impact is far-reaching.

The program provides opportunities for research and study as well as training for students.  The programs for child participants are designed to enhance the development of the whole child through the implementation of an experiential, child-oriented curriculum comprehensive, child-centered curriculum.  Quality programming is achieved through the initiation of developmentally effective activities and positive child guidance techniques. The program design encourages families to participate in a learning environment for their children that fosters optimal child development and provides a laboratory setting in which the university community can pursue academic interests.