Child Development Institute

Supporting Relationships that Shape Early Development

Reseda, CA   |


Joan Maltese, Ph.D., and a small group of mental health professionals founded Child Development Institute (CDI) in 1995 to address the lack of holistic, relationship-based development and intervention services for young children with developmental disabilities and other learning challenges. Since then, CDI has been a principal provider of early childhood development and intervention services in the San Fernando Valley, providing over 60,000 hours of comprehensive, integrated training programs for multiple disciplines including speech, occupational therapy, mental health, special education, and early child development.

The mission of Child Development Institute is to help children reach their full potential by supporting the relationships and environments that shape early development.

Notes from the nonprofit

Child Development Institute operates on a June 30 / July 1 fiscal year. The statistics list here are based on that unless other required or stated.

Ruling year info



Joan Maltese Ph.D.

Main address

18050 Vanowen Street

Reseda, CA 91335 USA

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NTEE code info

Other Youth Development N.E.C. (O99)

Children's and Youth Services (P30)

Other Youth Development N.E.C. (O99)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Research shows that children are most successful when their parents are well supported, informed and connected. For over 23 years, CDI has been focused on “Strengthening Families and Communities" as one of the area's leading experts in Early Child Development helping support parents and children to achieve their potential. Through an integrated, “whole child" approach, we consider all factors in a child's development - relationships, environments, and communities. Our primary focus is the child's family. Families are the most important providers of loving relationships that create nurturing environments, providing the foundation for a child's healthy development. We believe all families should have access to quality developmental screenings, safe play-based environments as well as innovative and effective intervention services.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Child Development Institute's EARLY LEARNING CENTER - CANOGA PARK

CDI’s Early Learning Center (ELC) in Canoga Park is a free play and learning space that is an inclusive environment open to young children ages 0-6 and their families. The ELC is a culturally-congruent space complete with an indoor climbing tree; science, music, and art stations; book and toy library; infant and toddler room; a teaching kitchen; and an outdoor garden. Over 1,000 children and their families visit the ELC each month.

We partner with trained volunteers and community groups to offer a variety of programs such as:
* C.A.L.M. Baby *Music & Movement
*Discovery Zone *Parent Support Groups
*Garden Club *Story Time
*Healthy & Fit Together *Free Development Screenings
*Learning Lunches & Parental Mental Health
*Mighty Motor Skills Screenings

Population(s) Served
Infants and toddlers
Economically disadvantaged people

The Early Learning Center (ELC) provides free developmental screenings for children. ELC volunteers are available to have a conversation with families and make sure their children are on a healthy developmental track. If a child displays red flags, CDI provides a continuum of care by linking families to community resources and following up with families to ensure they get the support their child needs. ELC also provides enrichment classes for children and their parents.

Population(s) Served
Infants and toddlers
People with learning disabilities

CDI offers a range of therapeutic services including Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Developmental Support Services, Mental Health Therapy, social Skills Groups, and Parent Support Groups. CDI Therapies use an integrated “Whole Child” approach guided by research in child-development, brain science, attachment and learning theory. Treatment is individualized for each child and family and focuses on learning through relationships and play. Services are funded by the Regional Center, school districts and health insurance.

Population(s) Served
Infants and toddlers
People with disabilities

CDI offers customized trainings and consultations for professionals working with young children using a reflective practice model with an emphasis on social-emotional development. CDI also provides clinical internship programs for Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy, and Mental Health. CDI’s Early Learning Center offers service-learning internships for students in multiple fields.

*Wide range of topics
*Customized and interactive
*Clinical Intership Programs

Population(s) Served
Young adults

The Child Development Institute/Providence Tarzana Child Development Center opened September 2018. It extends CDI’s geographic reach by being on the campus at Providence Tarzana Medical Center. The center there will focus on follow-through 'warm hand off' care for families already coming to the hospital setting – especially for infants and children who had been treated in our NICU.

Services provided:
• Occupational Therapy & Sensory Integration
• Speech & Language Therapy 

• Physical Therapy
• Feeding Therapy 

• Behavioral Health: Child and family counseling
• Maternal Mental Health screenings, treatment, and care coordination.
• Group Therapy 

• Prevention and Service Coordination

Through a professional alliance with Children’s Hospital LA (CHLA), children receiving intervention services at the Center will also have direct access to CHLA’s pediatric orthopedic physicians, pediatric surgeons, and developmental pediatricians as needed to augment their therapy and address developmental disabilities.

The on-campus center will serve as the warm handoff from hospital care to community support services as well as direct service from CDI professional staff, ensuring a seamless transition from hospital care to outpatient early childhood development services for Providence patients.

The clinic provides full physical, neurological, and developmental examinations throughout the child’s first three years, and a neonatologist – specializing in working with prematurely-born babies – is on-site to provide diagnostic services and follow-up care.

Population(s) Served
Infants and toddlers

Given our success in Canoga Park, CDI is
transforming a mid-century former church in Reseda
into another dynamic early learning center. With
over 80% raised toward the total costs, contributions
to this effort will fund creating spaces that support
development through literacy, art, science, music,
gardening, and health and wellness activities. This
will include a Children’s Discovery Zone, adaptive
playground, indoor climbing tree, healthy snack room,
classroom kitchen, community garden and theater.
These interactive environments allow children to learn
while broadening their imaginations through play
as they begin to develop the skills and discover the
world around them. We anticipate 5,000 children (0-5
years) and their family members will play and learn
at the CDI ELC in Reseda annually.

Population(s) Served
Infants and toddlers
Economically disadvantaged people

Where we work

Affiliations & memberships

Los Angeles Conservancy Preservation Award 2014

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of children with disabilities receiving early intervention services

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Infants and toddlers

Related Program

Child Development Institute's - Early Intervention Services

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success


Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Goal I: Implement community based, comprehensive promotion and prevention programs for underserved and at-risk infants and children living in the San Fernando Valley.

Goal II: Deliver comprehensive, high quality early intervention services to vulnerable and underserved infants, young children and their families.

Goal III: Expand interdisciplinary training for child/family service providers. The foundation of all CDI programs includes a workforce development strategy to train the next generation of professionals, across disciplines to support a coordinated “whole child" approach.

Goal IV: Ensure organizational growth and sustainability. In order for CDI to maintain the quality of services it has diligently worked to establish, we must continue to train our staff and graduate students, who will become the service-providers of tomorrow.

Goal V: Advocate for family empowerment, improved access and service quality in early intervention.

Goal I: CDI will increase outreach and support to underserved and high risk populations – such as homeless families, foster care youth. CDI will replicate the Early Learning Center's model to deliver an integrated promotion, prevention and intervention program in the Reseda area.

Goal II: CDI will expand outreach and services to new populations in the San Fernando Valley through partnerships with Providence Tarzana Medical Center.

Goal III: We will develop a systematic outreach plan for obtaining new training contracts and maintaining current relationships. This includes populations working with vulnerable and underserved young children.

Goal IV: CDI will develop a fundraising strategy for the Reseda's Early Learning Center and a Branding/Outreach Marketing plan.

Goal V: CDI will identify environmental conditions in the community that threaten child well-being. CDI will inform the public and legislators about the importance issues in early child development.

Child Development Institute (CDI) was founded in 1995 to address the lack of holistic development and intervention services for young children in the San Fernando Valley. Where intervention services were available, they were provided in isolation, with little attention to a child's overall support system or relationships. Since then, CDI has become one of the principal providers of early childhood development and intervention services in the San Fernando Valley.

CDI is capable of achieving the above goals because we have the leadership, the appropriate staff, as well as the experience necessary. Our evidenced-based programs and services continue to provide over 48,000 annual treatment hours to young children and their families through a dedicated staff that strongly believes in the mission. Additionally, our partnerships with health and human service organizations and our robust reputation in the community paves the way for CDI's team members to accomplish set goals.

Years of productive collaboration with community partners, along with consistently positive family feedback, gives us the confidence that we have models that need replicating. CDI is now poised to deepen our work in Canoga Park and expand services in the San Fernando Valley.

Our growth plan encompasses three components:
1) Sustaining and growing current, programs at the Canoga Park Early Learning Center,

2) Replicating the CDI ELC Canoga Park model with an Early Learning Center in Reseda. CDI and its partners are coming together to replicate the success of the Early Learning Center (ELC) Canoga Park in another high-need area of the SF Valley.

3) Co-locating at Providence Tarzana to provide critical intervention supports for families in the NICU and PICU. CDI offers a range of services for 0-8 children and their families. Mental Health, Developmental & Social-Emotional Support, Speech, Occupational, Physical and Feeding Therapies, Sensory Integration, Child & Family Counseling.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys, Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Case management notes, Community meetings/Town halls, Constituent (client or resident, etc.) advisory committees,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    Due to COVID Safer at Home guidelines, families have not been able to receive services or support programs through in person services. Families let us know the types of support that best meets their families' needs in this challenging time. In response to family feedback, we moved all services to telehealth/teletherapy. We expanded our food distribution program to twice weekly (from monthly) and included essential items such as diapers, baby food, self care products and personal protection equipment (PPE). Additionally, we are now offering many free emotional health and enrichment classes for children and their parents everyday. We are developing a new model of safe on site visits - with only a few families (pods) and careful attention to COVID safety guidelines.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback,


Child Development Institute

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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


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Connect with nonprofit leaders


Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Child Development Institute

Board of directors
as of 5/24/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Scott Silverstein

Lee & Associates

Term: 2019 - 2024

Joan Maltese, Ph.D.

Child Development Insitute

Scott Silverstein

Lee & Associates, Inc.

Gloria Pollack


Susan Du Brin

Ethan Christopher, LLC

Robert Kahn

Union Bank

Howard Reinstein, MD

Private Practice Pediatrics

Christine Molaro

Client Family Member

Roberto Barragan

Aquaria Funding Solutions

Arleen Alpert

Community Volunteer

Susan Ng

Government & Community Relations

Arlet Hur

Pacific Premier Bank

Mark Levinson, Esq.

Attorney at Law

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 10/09/2020

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data


No data

Sexual orientation

No data


No data