As a Senior Program Associate at WestEd, Diane Harkins builds the capacity of early childhood professionals to address the developmental needs of children and their families in early learning and care settings.
Harkins works with the Program for Infant/Toddler Care (PITC) to design and deliver professional resources for early childhood professionals, including The PITC Curriculum. She recently piloted a coaching course in conjunction with the PITC Institute and has developed training and coaching observation tools. She coordinated the development of a video series to accompany the California Department of Education’s Guidelines for Early Learning in Child Care Home Settings.
In addition to working with PITC, Harkins contributes to the California Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Network through a model of reflective practice, supporting mental health consultants and early childhood educators. She develops and delivers webinars on trauma-informed care and resilience. Her areas of expertise include adult learning methodologies, coaching as a professional development approach, early childhood development, and infant and early childhood mental health.
Prior to working with WestEd, Harkins launched and directed the Family Child Care at Its Best Training Program, through the University of California, Davis, reaching family child care providers in every California county. Harkins also coordinated a training program for Central American child protection centers and co-authored a research article for the Infant Mental Health Journal. She has served as a pediatric social worker at the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford and holds a license in clinical social work.
Harkins completed her PhD in education at University of California, Davis; a master’s degree in social work from University of California, Berkeley; and a bachelor’s degree in child development from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.