With over 50 years of combined experience of working with children and families my mom and I decided to open our first child care in 2004. We began with a simple house in the Wrigley area of Long Beach, California. Our goal was to give children and families a sense of home while allowing them the opportunity to develop the skills necessary to grow at their individual pace. In 2005 we where selected to pilot the Los Angeles Universal Preschool program (LAUP). After two successful years with LAUP we decided to open a second location dedicated to infants and toddlers. In 2007 we moved our infants and toddlers to our new location in the California Heights area of Long Beach, California. In 2008 we began providing parent training workshops to help parents transition their children from preschool to elementary school. We continue to change and grow but we stay true to our philosophy that all children have individual needs and rates of development. Our program will adapt to each child's needs and we will continue to foster a home and family environment as we continue to grow our programs. In 2010 we partnered with Saint Barnabas Parish School providing before and after school child care for children attending their school. In 2016 we completed our partnership with LAUP and transitioned both of our sites to infant / toddlers programs. In March of 2020 the world changed and so did our program, we converted our Bixby location to fit the needs of children attending school via zoom and online platforms and focused our infant and toddler program at our Wrigley location. In the fall of 2023 we will introduce a small cohort style of infant / toddler care at our Bixby location. 

Our Story

Jenny Cardenas - Infant / Toddler Director
Jenny has been working with children and families for over 40 years. First as an Elementary school teacher and then focusing on children under 5  when her two youngest daughters began preschool. Jenny worked with preschool children as a Master Teacher for several years before becoming a Site Supervisor. Soon after she became the Family Child Care Network Coordinator for Comprehensive Child Development, Inc. She worked with Network Providers for over 20 years changing the face of Family Child Care and implementing standards in child care found throughout the City of Long Beach today. In 2004 Jenny decided to partner with her daughter and open a Child Care establishing a high standard of care while maintaining a nurturing environment where children could grow and thrive.  In 2005 her site was chosen to pilot the Los Angeles Universal Preschool program providing high quality preschool for all.  In 2007 when her first granddaughter was born Jenny decided to concentrate her focus on infants and toddlers establishing a second location focused on their deveopment.  Jenny currently runs one of our infant/toddler homes in the beautiful  Long Beach area of California Heights. 
Jessica Cardenas - Program Director
Jessica began her career working with young children 30 years ago in the computer lab at Comprehensive Child Development, Inc. and with school aged children at Magnolia Club for the same agency.  She then went on to work for the Los Angeles Unified School District as an Outdoor Science Education Specialist at Point Fermin Marine Biology School for 4th and 5th graders. In 2004 she partnered with her mother to open a family child care that focused on individual needs of children.  In 2007 she dedicated herself to working with preschool children in partnership with the Los Angeles Universal Preschool (LAUP) program.  Jessica is a graduate of Ashford University where she received her Masters degree in Early Childhood Education.  Jessica is also an education facilitator for the California Department of Fish and Game in collaboration with Project Wild            ( www.projectwild.org )  training Early Childhood teachers and providers throughout Southern California. Jessica holds a Master Teacher and a Site Supervisor Permit from the California Commission on Teaching in Child Development. Jessica currently runs one of our infant/toddler sites in the Wrigley area of Long Beach. 

Scarlett Llamas -  Infant / Toddler specialist

Following our mother in the field of early childhood education Scarlett joined our infant /toddler site  as infant specialist. She is working on a Early Childhood Education Certificate from UCLA. She has worked under Jenny to learn the developmental stages of children three and under. Currently Scarlett is our infant teacher at our Wrigley location. Scarlett is a graduate of California State University Long Beach in the field of Human Anthropology with an emphasis in Cultures. 
The Willow Tree Child Care
2 Locations in  Long Beach, California 90806   (562)972-7945
Your Child's Second Home
The Willow Tree Child Care - Long Beach, California (562) 972-7945

Madison  - Our inspiration and future director
Madison is the reason for what we do each and everyday. She challenges us to become better teachers and models for all the children in our care. While she is not the only grandchild in the family she is the reason we began our programs. She continues to challenge us and inspire us daily and at times "pretends" to run the show. She is a child care director in the making following in her "Abuelita's" footsteps. Madison is now 15 years old and will soon earn her Baby Sitting Certificate from the American Red Cross. She will join the family business in the summer months as an assistant helper. 
Melanie Cardenas - After school and summer program 

Joining us in the family business as we expand our programs. Melanie has expanded our afternoon program to include a summer camp for older children. She keeps them engaged and entertained during the summer months with field trips to Knott's Berry Farm, Soak City, Bowling......and many more fun and age appropriate activities.  Melanie has learned from the "BEST" her mother of course and is following in the tradition of providing a high quality program to our older school age children. 
picture coming soon....