North County Community Services now operating as Growing Minds Early Education Programs is a nonprofit organization in Northern San Diego County. Growing Minds is passionately committed to improving our neighbors health and well being by providing programs that educate young children, support working families, and ultimately create opportunities to improve the quality of life for residents of North County.
North County Community Services, now Growing Minds Early Education Programs has been in existence since the 1960s, Initially,the organization provided programs for the economically disadvantaged in the City of Oceanside under the name Oceanside Community Action Corporation.
The agency incorporated in 1970 and the Balderrama Child Development Center was opened to provide affordable childcare to Oceanside residents. In 2016 we began doing business as Growing Minds Early Education Programs. The name change was necessary to clearly communicate our focus and commitment as educators.
Ongoing Tradition of Service
Today, our staff is right around 65 strong. We continue to provide preschool services at five sites across Northern San Diego County, serving over 400 children and their families.
Our Formative Years
For the next 15 years, the organization focused its efforts on combating the impacts of poverty in Oceanside and the surrounding areas. In 1986 a re-entry program was established to provide services for individuals re-entering society after periods of incarceration. In 1988 North Countys Food Bank was established as a formal program of the organization.
The need for services in Northern San Diego County continued to increase as the population grew. In 1992 the organization changed its name to North County Community Services to reflect the widening geographic region it serves.
Through the 1990s, NCCS continued to grow, adding additional preschool centers in the communities of Vista, Escondido, and Oceanside, and contracting with the California Department of Education to provide full-day childcare services for low-income populations in these communities.
In the early 2000s, the Food Bank moved to its current location in San Marcos. We also expanded further to meet the need for preschool services in communities served by the organization. In 2015, we decided to focus all our resources on providing quality early education services and transferred the operation of the food bank was to the San Diego Food Bank.