5 Years of Learning: A Report on the First Five Years of Santa Clara CARES 2002-2006.
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Director, E3 Institute
Yolanda Garcia serves as Director of the WestEd E3 Institute, Excellence in Early Education, which has become a model of increasing community access to high-quality early education.
A member of the WestEd Center for Child & Family Studies, Garcia directs the advocacy and communication function of the E3 Institute, which supports and strengthens early childhood educator professional development.
Serving California's Santa Clara County, the Institute reaches new recruits, family-based early educators, center-based programs, programs for children with special needs, employers, faith-based providers, and the corporate community.
Garcia and her E3 Institute colleagues leverage local resources for early educators, especially through the Institute's Comprehensive Approaches to Raising Educational Standards (CARES) program. CARES promotes, rewards, and encourages educational attainment among early educators in Santa Clara County through a system of financial incentives and rewards. Garcia coauthored the WestEd-published 5 Years of Learning: A Report on the First Five Years of Santa Clara CARES 2002–2006.
As part of her E3 work, Garcia coauthored the WestEd-published Great Expectations: The E3 Institute-San Jose State University Bachelor's Degree Cohort Program for CARES Participants in Santa Clara County. The E3 Institute supports the research showing that children are better prepared for school when taught by educators who are equipped with the necessary theoretical knowledge and education to improve the quality of preschool services for the county's youngest children. Evidence of the bachelor's degree program's benefits is presented in this report, specifically in the voices of the bachelor's degree cohort members, whose lives have been irrevocably changed by their participation and successes.
Garcia is also responsible for the implementation of a state demonstration called the Power of Preschool that enhances the quality of services to children served by three school districts, the county office of education, and community-based programs. High-quality preschool services were provided to 2,733 children during 2006-10. Garcia coauthored the WestEd-published Power of Preschool in Santa Clara County: Making the First Five Years Count.
Garcia led development of the California Department of Education’s Early Childhood Educator Competencies, July 2011, a statewide evidence-based set of competencies that addresses the knowledge, skills, and dispositions that early childhood professionals need to support the development and learning of young children.
In July 2010, Garcia was a discussion leader at the conference, Social Justice: An Interdisciplinary Perspective, held at Oxford University, England.
In recognition of her E3 Institute leadership, Garcia received the 2007 Paul D. Hood Award for Distinguished Contribution to the Field.
For 20 years, Garcia directed the Children's Services Department for the Santa Clara County Office of Education. While in that role, she served on the national Head Start Quality Committee that recommended the development of Early Head Start.
Her previous experience also includes analyzing public policy as a Fellow with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and developing a grant-making strategy for early education and family support at the Charles Mott Foundation, as a Senior Program Officer.
Garcia is on the board of the Child Development Policy Institute (CDPI) and previously served as Public Policy Chair for four years.
She was elected to the Governing Board for the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) in a national election. NAEYC is the world's largest organization working on behalf of young children with nearly 100,000 members, a national network of over 300 local, state, and regional affiliates, and a global alliance of like-minded organizations.
Garcia served on the 2010-11 Committee on Early Childhood Care and Education Workforce Board on Children, Youth, and Families, The National Academies Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. She also served on the Early Childhood Mathematics Committee with the National Academy of Sciences, which published the report, Mathematics Learning in Early Childhood: Paths Toward Excellence and Equity.
She also served on the NAEYC Quality and Compensation Committee and on the American Academy of Sciences' Committee on the Integration of Sciences in Early Childhood Education, contributing to the academy's seminal report, From Neurons to Neighborhoods: The Science of Early Childhood Development.
Garcia received an EdD in organization and leadership from the School of Education at University of San Francisco; a BA in political science, history, and sociology from the University of California, Santa Barbara; an MS in social services administration with an emphasis on public policy and child welfare from the University of Chicago; and an MA in education administration from San Jose State University.
Ilene M Hertz
Assistant Director, E3 Institute
As Assistant Director for the E3 Institute—Excellence in Early Education at WestEd, Ilene Hertz leads all aspects of the Institute's workforce development initiatives.
Hertz's work includes advocacy, strategic planning, program administration, contracts development, and technology development.
The E3 Institute supports and strengthens early childhood professional development through education, recruitment, and financial incentives.
Hertz's work with the use of technology has enabled the Institute to shape, plan, and implement its policies, programs, and initiatives based on the data it collects. As a result, the E3 Institute has been recognized statewide for its innovative and successful approaches to workforce development, due largely to its data-driven approach.
Hertz also provides leadership in regional, state, and national forums to shape policies based on research linking quality in early education programs to the education levels of early childhood professionals.
Her involvement with the development, implementation, and ongoing evaluation of Santa Clara County's Comprehensive Approaches to Raising Educational Standards (CARES) program resulted in a dramatic increase in the education levels of the early education workforce in Santa Clara County, CA.
Hertz co-authored the related WestEd publication, 5 Years of Learning: A Report on the First Five Years of Santa Clara CARES 2002–2006.
Hertz oversaw a cohort of CARES participants obtaining their bachelor's degree in early education through a partnership with San Jose State University, and supported a multi-county longitudinal research study with the University of California, Berkeley on the effects of a bachelor's degree cohort.
She co-authored the related publication, Great Expectations: The E3 Institute-San Jose State University Bachelor's Degree Cohort Program for CARES Participants in Santa Clara County.
Hertz is one the WestEd team members who contributed to the development of the California Department of Education's Early Childhood Educator Competencies. This statewide evidence-based set of competencies addresses the knowledge, skills, and dispositions that early childhood professionals need in order to support the development and learning of young children.
Hertz serves on California's Early Childhood Professional Development and Education Collaborative. In addition, she is a member of the Santa Clara County Local Early Education Planning Council.
A longtime advocate for the child development field, Hertz has worked in early education policy development for more than 30 years.
She began her career in the Executive Office of Human Services in Boston. She later served as Manager of Child Care and Family Services for the City of Palo Alto, California, where she used corporate funds to develop an accreditation project. This project resulted in an unprecedented 50 percent of the early education center-based programs in Palo Alto becoming accredited through the National Association for the Education of Young Children.
She also managed a child care subsidy program, developed a web-based resource and referral system of early education sites using geographical information systems technology, and developed emergency preparedness protocols between the city and school district, before joining WestEd in 2002.
She received a BA in social policy from Hampshire College and an MA in human services administration from Lesley College.
Sandy Y Baba
Professional Development Manager
Sandy Baba provides leadership in early childhood education as a Professional Development Manager for the Center for Child & Family Studies (CCSF) E3 Institute at WestEd.
She develops high-quality early childhood education components and strategies, including system management, accreditation, assessments, performance evaluation, coaching system design, and organizational programming audits.
Baba leads the Santa Clara County (CA) Child Signature Program (CSP) initiative that serves young children who might have been exposed to high-risk factors such as prenatal drug use, poor nutrition, family poverty, and domestic violence.
Baba also manages the design and implementation of a Quality Enhancement Support Team (QuEST) to individualize professional development needs for the various CSP teaching teams.
Along with leading early childhood education initiatives in Santa Clara County, Baba provides statewide consultation and technical assistance development to enhance program quality, curriculum development, and early education coaching practices.
In addition to CSP, Baba has managed numerous other projects, including the following, which have spanned multiple geographic regions: Power of Preschool, Young Readers, Future Leaders Early Literacy Initiative; Arts and Science Enrichment Initiative; Santa Clara County Partnership for School Readiness; and California statewide environment rating training.
Baba also has developed English and Chinese language early literacy curricula for early childhood programs and language schools in the United States and overseas.
She is a certified trainer for the Program for Infant/Toddler Care (PITC) housed within CCFS. In this role, she helps educators become sensitive to young children's cues, connect with their family, language, and culture, and develop responsive, relationship-based care.
As a national Early Head Start consultant, Baba supports programs in family and community partnerships, fiscal development, universal health and safety precautions, program management, facilities development, and transportation.
Baba has served on the Board of the California Association for the Education of Young Children and is a frequent presenter on early childhood issues at conferences. In 2005, she was selected to participate in the National Association for the Education of Young Children's (NAEYC's) Supporting Teachers, Strengthening Families National Leadership Program, funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, to engage early childhood professionals in preventing child abuse and neglect.
Baba also is a community liaison for the NAEYC Diversity and Equity Forum, which brings early care educators together for dialogues on related topics. In 2008, Baba led a group of early childhood experts and founded the NAEYC Asian Interest Forum to guide discussions with practitioners on early childhood issues related to children and families of Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander descent worldwide.
Prior to joining WestEd in 2003, Baba directed a homeless child development program for a nonprofit agency. There she implemented a relationship-based and modified anti-bias curriculum to counter the adverse effects of homelessness in young children. She has also taught child development classes at community college level.
Baba is literate in English, Chinese, and Japanese, conversant in Mandarin and Japanese, and a native speaker of Cantonese.
She received a BA in Asian studies from the University of California, Davis, and an MA in education (with an emphasis in early childhood education) from San Francisco State University. She is pursuing a PhD in transformative studies with a focus on global early care and education management at California Institute of Integral Studies.
Tina A Zapien
Tina Zapien is the Operations Manager for WestEd's E3 Institute: Advancing Excellence in Early Education.
Zapien has been a member of WestEd's Center for Child and Family Studies since joining the agency in 2002. She monitors subcontracts and consultant agreements, supervises support staff, and conducts facilities management and human resources for the San Jose WestEd office. She also is responsible for the development and submission of annual and quarterly FIRST 5 Santa Clara County reports.
Zapien leads all aspects of event coordination for the E3 Institute for audiences and participants ranging up to 500. She has coordinated a variety of events including the FIRST 5 Santa Clara County/WestEd; E3 Institute Launching, WestEd; E3 Institute Open House; Early Literacy Conference; National Association of Bilingual Educators Reception; and California Association for Bilingual Educators-Institute for researchers and practitioners.
Previously at WestEd, Zapien secured office space, staffing, equipping, and furnishing for the San Jose office.
Zapien has 26 years of experience in the early education field as an office administrator. In her role as Support Services Supervisor for the Santa Clara County Office of Education's Head Start Program, she designed data systems, office operations, and supervised a 22-person administrative and technical staff. Other administrative positions include working at Evergreen Valley College's Instructional Services Department and the Superintendent's Office of Farmersville (CA) School District.
Regina A Garcia-Lemye
As a Program Assistant with the Center for Child & Family Studies E3 Institute at WestEd, Regina Garcia-Lemye develops, implements, and integrates services and resources that support young children, families, and early childhood educators.
As part of the First 5 California Child Signature Program (CSP), Garcia-Lemye's work expands access to quality early learning programs to over 900 children ranging from 0 to 5 years in Santa Clara County.
In addition, Garcia-Lemye strengthens the professional development of early childhood teachers through the individualized coaching model, Quality Enhancement Support Team (QuEST).
Garcia-Lemye's responsibilities include contract development, program design and implementation, coordination and facilitation of professional development trainings and events.
Prior to joining WestEd in 2008, Garcia-Lemye served as a family child care coordinator, providing on-site technical assistance and support to licensed, family child care providers.
She also taught and managed both private and nonprofit early childhood programs throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
Garcia-Lemye received a BA in child and adolescent development from San Francisco State University.
Jennifer J Laguna
Sandra M Laguna
Program Assistant Sandra Laguna helps support the work of WestEd's E3 Institute: Advancing Excellence in Early Education, which has become a model of increasing community access to high-quality early education.
The E3 Institute plans and designs professional development systems for early childhood educators in collaboration with the four community college districts in Santa Clara County. Laguna's Institute responsibilities include processing staff travel and reimbursements, overseeing major office purchases, supporting on-site facilities management, establishing vendor relationships and accounts, evaluating spacing needs and office reconfigurations/conversions, and maintaining office appearance and organization.
A member of WestEd's staff since 2005, Laguna also provides human resources support to the Institute's Operations Manager, coordinates events — including two health fairs — and supports project staff. She contributed to E3 Institute's processing of more than 800 California Child Development Permits for early educators in 2006-2009. In addition, as part of WestEd's Power of Preschool Project, Laguna coordinated the purchase of more than 70 book titles for classroom use as well as for teachers as a resource.
Laguna has 17 years of office administration experience in the early education field at the Santa Clara County (CA) Office of Education as Operations/Family Support Services Clerical Supervisor. There she developed a system to monitor the receipt, assignment, and status of more than 2,000 applications received yearly and multiple documents required for enrollment in the Head Start program. While at the county office, she also helped develop the Santa Clara County Office of Education Style Guide.
She has 15 years of banking experience in administration and customer service at Bank of America, and served as assistant to the high school principal in the Montebello Unified School District.
A commissioned notary and authorized loan-signing agent, Laguna completed courses in management, accounting, and general education. She also completed a management program provided by the Santa Clara Office of Education.
Rick R Leon Jr
Gina Y Morimoto
Gina Morimoto is a Coordinator with the Center for Child & Family Studies (CCFS) at WestEd. She assists with the activities of the California Preschool Learning Foundations project as they address critical issues in preschool education.
Prior to her work with CCFS, Morimoto worked as an executive assistant and research assistant with the Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math program; and the Assessment & Standards Development Services program.
She has also managed the development of education toys and software for The Learning Company/Mattel. She is a former preschool and elementary school teacher.
Morimoto received a BA in social sciences and an MA in education psychology from the University of California, Berkeley.
Maria E Munoz
Program Assistant I
Research Associate Mimi Muñoz assists with the quality improvement of WestEd's Power of Preschool (PoP) locations serving family child care and center-based early education programs in Santa Clara County, California.
Muñoz performs her work as part of WestEd's E3 Institute: Advancing Excellence in Early Education. She is a member of the PoP Quality Enhancement Support Team (QuEST) aimed at enhancing quality in PoP classrooms through environment rating scale assessments, ongoing technical assistance, and individualized professional development solutions for teachers in the PoP classrooms. As of 2008, nearly 800 children attended preschool through the PoP initiative.
A member of the E3 Institute since 2003, Muñoz worked on the Institute's Comprehensive Approaches to Raising Educational Standards (CARES) Program, which promotes and encourages educational attainment among early childhood professionals through a system of financial incentives and rewards. As of 2009, nearly 86 percent of the estimated early education workforce in Santa Clara County working in licensed programs has participated in CARES. Muñoz also contributed to bringing together an unprecedented collaboration of community agencies and college representatives into a monthly roundtable. She has collaborated extensively with these agencies and colleges to support early educators in Santa Clara County.
She has coordinated the CARES international education credential translation and evaluation project and the California Child Development Permit application services, which have benefited more than 1,000 early educators. Muñoz also coordinated the collaborative development and implementation of the online CARES Professional Development and Education Plan (PDEP). Colleges in Santa Clara County have used the PDEP to help more than 3,000 early education students create plans to support their educational goals.
Muñoz also has served as student cohort coordinator for the E3 Institute - San Jose State University (SJSU) Child and Adolescent Development BA Degree Program, which meets the specific educational needs of students in the early childhood educator workforce with the same high standards expected of all SJSU students. In 2010, 30 students are expected to graduate with a BA, which they earned through this program while working full time in early childhood settings.
Muñoz led the IBM-CARES Early Care and Education Quality Improvement Project, an unprecedented collaboration between the early education field and a large, for-profit corporation. IBM Corporation sought to develop an innovative strategy to improve the quality of care available to its employees' families. The training program offered inclusion of children with special needs, college credit for qualified early educators for completion of the WestEd Program for Infant/Toddler Care (PITC) training, environment rating scales training, and enrichment grants upon project completion. The project offered supports to 38 early educators from 35 early educator programs, who otherwise would not have had access to such training opportunities. More than 600 children and their families benefited from this training.
Prior to joining WestEd in 2003, Muñoz worked at the Santa Clara County Office of Education and the Mission College Child Development Department and Center. In 2002, Muñoz was recognized by the Mission College Academic Senate for her exemplary contributions to the college and was presented with a City of San Jose Smart Start Family Child Care Program Award for her service to the community.
She was Vice Chair and Chair of the City of San Jose Early Care and Education Commission, a member of the Santa Clara County Inclusion Collaborative, and, in 2006, was selected as a fellow for the Children's Defense Fund Emerging Leaders Project.
Muñoz received a BA in social science from the University of California, Irvine.
Kimmy N Nguyen
Kimmy Nguyen is a Research Assistant for WestEd's E3 Institute: Advancing Excellence in Early Education, which has become a model of increasing community access to high-quality early education.
A member of WestEd's Center for Child and Family Studies (CCFS), Nguyen primarily assists with the implementation of the E3 Institute's Comprehensive Approaches to Raising Educational Standards (CARES) project in Santa Clara County, California. CARES is designed to promote, reward, and encourage educational attainment among child care professionals in Santa Clara County through a system of financial incentives and rewards.
Nguyen also assists with the Power of Preschool (PoP) initiative, also in Santa Clara County. The PoP initiative expands access to preschool for Santa Clara County's 3- and 4-year-old children and provides additional resources for families and early educators. Nguyen's work on this initiative has resulted in quality data collection for program evaluation.
Previously at WestEd, Nguyen worked for the CCFS's Evaluation Team. Nguyen acted as the lead recruiter, lead data collector, and lead coordinator for multiple CCFS assessment projects. She was one of the data anchors to maintain high inter-rater reliability with the early childhood environment assessors in Los Angeles County using the Environmental Rating Scales.
Prior to joining WestEd in 2007, Nguyen worked as a Research Assistant for the University of California, Los Angeles Graduate School of Education and Information Studies. As the Northern California Program Representative, Nguyen conducted observational assessments for more than 50 early education centers and direct assessments to more than 100 children in Alameda County, California.
Nguyen received a BA in sociology from the University of California, Irvine, and an MA in education with a special interest in counseling from San Francisco State University.
Myhang T Nguyen
Myhang Nguyen joined WestEd’s E3 Institute in 2004 as an Administrative Assistant. She is now a member of the Power of Preschool (PoP) team.
Nguyen assists in reviewing Arts and Schmahl Science invoice reports, performing PoP data entry, compiling ASQ data reports, searching books/materials, preparing purchasing orders, and providing general administrative support.
During the first five years at WestEd E3 Institute, Nguyen provided assistance to the Comprehensive Approaches to Raising Educational Standards (CARES) program. Her CARES responsibilities included updating contact information of applicants, maintaining records of stipend recipients, performing data entry, and creating statistical reports.
Previously, Nguyen served as a Project Assistant at Mission College Child Development Center where she helped low-income families obtain subsidized child care services.
She received a BS in accounting from California State University, East Bay.
Phuong Pham is a Program Assistant with the E3 Institute at WestEd. She provides administrative and technical support to the director and managers, and interfaces among administrative systems, support staff, and program managers of the Power of Preschool (PoP) project.
Prior to joining WestEd in 2006, Pham worked as an Administrative Assistant in various professional environments, including the Asian Americans for Community Involvement, the Santa Clara County Office of Education – Head Start, Kay’s Sterling Inc., and Minh Man Jewelry.
Pham received a BS in information resource management from San Jose State University and a credential in the California Family Development Program (FDC) from Cornell University. She is certified by the Gemological Institute of America in both diamonds trading and selling, and in diamonds and diamond grading.
George C Philipp
Senior Program Associate
As Senior Program Associate for the WestEd E3 Institute: Excellence in Early Education, George C. Philipp advances early educator professional development activities locally, regionally, and statewide through the Comprehensive Approaches to Raising Educational Standards (CARES) Program.
Philipp manages the E3 Institute Roundtable that brings together local institutes of higher education and community agencies to address issues faced by the early education workforce. He serves as the co-chair of Santa Clara County Office of Education Early Learning Master Plan’s Workforce Subcommittee; providing leadership on regional and state issues pertaining to the early education workforce.
He is a member of the California Department of Education, Child Development Division’s Workforce Registry Working Group and facilitates the Early Childhood Professional Development and Education Collaborative.
Prior to joining WestEd, Philipp was a Program Services Administrator for First 5 Alameda County where he designed and implemented early childhood educator professional development programs including leadership programs; the Alameda County CARES Program, higher education initiatives with UC Berkeley, California State University East Bay, and Mills College; a training program for child care center directors; and the Enhanced Mentor Program in collaboration with the California Early Childhood Mentor Program.
His background includes serving as a preschool teacher, coordinating the Latchkey program for Hayward Unified School district; a crisis intervention teacher for the school district of Palm Beach County, Florida; and substitute K-12 teacher.
Philipp received a BA in psychology from Roanoke College.