The Child Care and Development program came into existence at Texas Southmost College in the early 1970's. By January 1982, the program was fully established and provided a strong foundation in child development and provided supervised field training with children from birth to preschool age in a developmentally appropriate lab setting. As part of an agreement with the Texas Education Agency, a campus laboratory school was built and opened in January 1982. It was later named the Raul J. Guerra Early Childhood Center after a TSC college trustee.
The purpose of the Center is two-fold. It provides an environment to enhance each child's development as socially, emotionally, and physically and intellectually competent individual. It also provides a setting for university students in childcare and development as well as related fields to study, observe and gain practical experience in working with young children. The Early Childhood, Nursing, Music and Psychology programs have students who visit the Center to complete assigned field coursework.