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Office of the Governor
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Contact: Governor's Press Office
Friday, November 22, 2019 (916) 445-4571

Governor Newsom Announces Early Childhood Policy Council and a Team to Develop Master Plan for Early Learning and Care

SACRAMENTO – Governor Gavin Newsom today announced the selection of diverse experts, practitioners and parents to guide California’s efforts on early learning and care. The Governor today appointed 20 members of the state’s new Early Childhood Policy Council and advisory committees, including national experts, practitioners, and parents. He also announced the creation of an Early Childhood Action Research Team to develop a Master Plan for Early Learning and Care, which includes state and national leaders in social impact, financing, policy, and equity issues.

 

“Every child in our state should have the resources and support they need to live happy and healthy lives,” said Governor Newsom. “We are bringing together experts from diverse backgrounds to create a Master Plan for Early Learning and Care that will be rooted in lifting up California’s children and families today, tomorrow and into the future.”

 

The Early Childhood Action Research Team will develop a comprehensive roadmap for California to accelerate the Governor’s goal of providing universal preschool and action steps to increase access to affordable, high-quality child care that embraces the strengths and meets the needs of parents and young children.

 

The Action Research Team will consist of social impact experts from respected organizations including Child Trends, RAND, WestEd, Social Policy Research Associates, Parent Voices, Low-Income Investment Fund, American Institutes for Research, Stanford University’s School of Education, and Neimand Collaborative. The Action Research Team will produce a report by October 1, 2020. The Health and Human Services Agency will oversee the Team’s work in collaboration with the State Board of Education, the Department of Education and the Governor’s Office.

 

The Governor announced that the Early Childhood Policy Council will be chaired by California’s Surgeon General Dr. Nadine Burke Harris. 

 

The Governor also named 20 members to the Council today, including thought leaders from across the state in social services, child care and child trauma. The Council will elevate the needs of young children and their families as well as advise the Governor, Legislature and the Superintendent of Public Instruction on statewide early learning, care and overall development.  

 

The Council will provide recommendations on all aspects of the state’s early childhood system, including support for the demographic, geographic and economic diversity of the state’s children and families and ways the Master Plan for Early Learning and Care and the Assembly Blue Ribbon Commission on Early Childhood Education’s final report can be updated and improved. It will hold at least four public meetings per year and prepare a formal annual report.  

 

The Governor invested an additional $2 billion in this year’s budget to ensure that all children in California have the critical foundation they need for healthy development and learning in the earliest years. This down payment immediately expands California children’s access to quality education and health care, funds a two-generation strategy that invests in parents so they can invest in their children, and eases some of the financial pressures on parents to help them provide opportunities for their children and achieve economic security for their families. 

 

Early Childhood Policy Council Members

Nadine Burke Harris, 44, of San Francisco, has been appointed chair of the Early Childhood Policy Council. Burke Harris has been Surgeon General of California since 2019. Burke Harris was founder and chief executive officer of the Center for Youth Wellness from 2011 to 2019. She was a pediatrician at the Bayview Child Health Center from 2007 to 2019. Burke Harris was medical director at the California Pacific Medical Center from 2007 to 2011. She earned a Master of Public Health degree from the Harvard School of Public Health and a Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of California, Davis School of Medicine. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. Burke Harris is a Democrat.     

 

Mayra E. Alvarez, 38, of Los Angeles, has been appointed to the Early Childhood Policy Council. Alvarez has been president of The Children’s Partnership since 2015. She was director of the State Exchange Group for the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services from 2014 to 2015. Alvarez was associate director of the Office of Minority Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services from 2013 to 2014. She was director of public health policy in the Office of Health Reform at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services from 2010 to 2013. Alvarez was a legislative assistant for U.S. Senator Richard J. Durbin from 2007 to 2010. She was a legislative assistant for Congresswoman Hilda L. Solis from 2006 to 2007. Alvarez was a legislative fellow for U.S. Senator Barack Obama from 2005 to 2006. She is a board member of the Food Research and Action Center, Alluma and the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights Action Fund and a member of the Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission and California First 5 Commission. Alvarez earned a Master of Health Administration degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. Alvarez is a Democrat.

 

Kim Pattillo Brownson, 44, of Los Angeles, has been appointed to the Early Childhood Policy Council. Pattillo Brownson has been vice president for policy and strategy at First 5 Los Angeles since 2016. She was managing director of policy and advocacy at the Advancement Project from 2007 to 2016 and an attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California from 2006 to 2007. She is a member of the State Board of Education. Pattillo Brownson earned a Juris Doctor degree from Yale Law School. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. Pattillo Brownson is a Democrat.     

 

Yvette Sanchez Fuentes, 47, of San Luis Obispo, has been appointed to the Early Childhood Policy Council. Sanchez Fuentes has been director of the Community Action Program for San Luis Obispo since 2018. She was deputy chief of public policy and research for Child Care Aware of America from 2017 to 2018, policy director of Ascend at the Aspen Institute from 2016 to 2017 and an independent consultant from 2015 to 2016. Sanchez Fuentes was director of the Office of Head Start at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services from 2009 to 2014, executive director of the National Migrant and Seasonal Head Start Association from 2006 to 2009 and an early childhood development consultant for the Education Development Center at the International Education Systems Division from 2003 to 2006. She was a research coach for Zero to Three Literacy for the Learning and Life Project from 2004 to 2005, director of Migrant and Seasonal Head Start Farmworkers Collaboration for the Education Development Center in 2003 and a head start fellow for the National Head Start Fellowship Program at the Head Start Bureau in 2001. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. Sanchez Fuentes is a Democrat.     

 

Maria “Lupe” Jaime, 44, of Fresno, has been appointed to the Early Childhood Policy Council. Jaime has been senior director of early care and education at the Fresno County Office of Education since 2018, where she was director from 2014 to 2018. She was deputy director of the Central Valley Children’s Services Network from 2004 to 2014 and an hourly PITC specialist for West Education/Partners for Quality Infant and Toddler Caregiving from 2009 to 2014. She was an adjunct child development instructor at Reedley Community College from 2008 to 2014. She is a member of the National Association for the Education of Young Children, California Child Development Administration Association, and the Child Care Local Planning Council. She is co-chair of the Fresno State Dual Language Consortium. She is a former vice-chair for the California First 5 Commission. Jaime earned a Master of Education degree in cross-cultural education from National University and holds a child development director's permit. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. Jaime is a Democrat.

 

Kimberley Johnson, 42, of Sacramento, has been appointed to the Early Childhood Policy Council. Johnson has been director of the California Department of Social Services since 2019. She was deputy director for the Family Engagement and Empowerment Division at the California Department of Social Services from 2018 to 2019, branch chief of CalWorks and Child Care from 2017 to 2018, and branch chief of Child Care and Refugee Programs from 2015 to 2017. She was public policy director at the California Child Care Resource and Referral Network from 2012 to 2015, manager of the early childhood mentor program at the City College of San Francisco from 2009 to 2012, and director of programs and training for the parent services project from 2007 to 2010. Johnson was program director for the Children’s Network of Solano County from 1999 to 2007. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. Johnson is a Democrat.     

 

Alicia Lieberman, 71, of Mill Valley, has been appointed to the Early Childhood Policy Council. Lieberman has been a professor at the University of California, San Francisco since 1980. She was director of research for the NIMH Multiproblem Families Study from 1977 to 1980. She is a member of the SAMHSA National Child Traumatic Stress Network. Lieberman earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree in psychology from the Johns Hopkins University. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. Lieberman is registered without party preference.     

 

Paula Merrigan, 51, of Castro Valley, has been appointed to the Early Childhood Policy Council. Merrigan has been a teacher at the Castro Valley Unified School District since 2008. She is a member of the California Teachers Association. Merrigan earned a Master of Education degree from California State University, East Bay. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. Merrigan is a Democrat.

 

Scott Moore, 48, of Berkeley, has been appointed to the Early Childhood Policy Council. Moore has been chief executive officer of Kidango since 2015. He was a senior fellow of the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley from 2014 to 2015, chief policy advisor for Early Edge California from 2007 to 2014 and executive director of the California Early Learning Advisory Council from 2012 to 2013. Moore earned a Master of Business Administration degree in management from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. Moore is a Democrat.     

 

Sarah Neville-Morgan, 50, of Davis, has been appointed to the Early Childhood Policy Council. Neville-Morgan has been superintendent of public instruction for the Opportunities for All Branch at the California Department of Education since 2019. She was director of the early learning and care division at the California Department of Education from 2017 to 2019. She was deputy director of program management at First 5 California from 2013 to 2017 and from 2007 to 2010. Neville-Morgan was a child development consultant at the California Department of Education from 2011 to 2013. She was deputy executive director of the California Early Learning Advisory Council from 2010 to 2011. Neville-Morgan was a child development consultant from 2000 to 2007. She was an academic child development specialist at the University of California, Davis Center for Child and Family Studies from 1994 to 2000. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. Neville-Morgan is a Democrat.     

 

Stephanie Myers, 49, of Carmichael, has been appointed to the Early Childhood Policy Council. Myers has been an education programs consultant for the California Department of Education since 2012. She was a project associate for WestEd Center for Prevention and Early Intervention from 2000 to 2012, a health educator for the Breast Cancer Early Detection Program from 1999 to 2000 and a tribal head start education coordinator for the California Rural Indian Health Board from 1993 to 1999. Myers earned a Master of Education degree from California State University, Sacramento. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. Myers is a Democrat.    

 

Carola Oliva-Olson, 48, of Santa Barbara, has been appointed to the Early Childhood Policy Council. Oliva-Olson has been a professor at California State University Channel Islands since 2012. She was an early learning specialist supporting Migrant and Seasonal Head Start Programs from 2001 to 2003 and from 2009 to 2010. She is a member of the National Association for the Education of Young Children. Oliva-Olson earned a Doctor of Education degree in special education, disabilities and at-risk studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara and a Master of Arts degree in prekindergarten primary education from Barry University. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. Oliva-Olson is a Democrat.     

 

Cheryl Polk, 63, of San Francisco, has been appointed to the Early Childhood Policy Council. Polk has been president and chief executive officer at HighScope Educational Research Foundation since 2013. She is a member of the American Psychological Association, the Association of Black Psychologists and the National Association for the Education of Young Children. Polk earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree in psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology and a Master of Education degree in school psychology from Georgia State University. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. Polk is a Democrat.     

 

Dean Tagawa, 53, of Alhambra, has been appointed to the Early Childhood Policy Council. Tagawa has been an executive director for the Los Angeles Unified School District since 1996, where he has served in multiple positions since 1996, including director and principal. He is a member of the Association of California School Administrators, the Alliance for Asian Pacific Administrators, and the Multicultural Coalition. Tagawa earned a Doctor of Education degree in educational leadership from Liberty University and a Master of Education degree in education administration from National University. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. Tagawa is a Democrat.     

 

Early Childhood Policy Council, Parent Subcommittee Members

Lissete Frausto, 28, of Oakland, has been appointed to the Early Childhood Policy Council, Parent Subcommittee. Frausto has been a parent and community organizer for Kidango Child Care Center since 2018 and a medical biller for Optima Ophthalmic Medical Associates since 2015. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. Frausto is registered without party preference.

 

Mary Ignatius, 39, of San Francisco, has been appointed to the Early Childhood Policy Council, Parent Subcommittee. Ignatius has been statewide organizer for Parent Voices CA since 2005. She earned a Master of Social Work degree from Temple University. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. Ignatius is a Democrat.

 

Yenni Rivera, 39, of Los Angeles, has been appointed to the Early Childhood Policy Council, Parent Subcommittee. Rivera has been outreach coordinator for People Assisting the Homeless since 2018. She was director of operations for the Masters Workshop from 2014 to 2019 and a sales manager for Marriott International from 2012 to 2013. Rivera is a member of the California Partnership to End Domestic Violence and an ambassador for Parent Voices of California. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. Rivera is registered without party preference.

 

Early Childhood Policy Council, Workforce Subcommittee Members

Miren Algorri, 45, of Chula Vista, has been appointed to the Early Childhood Policy Council, Workforce Subcommittee. Algorri has been a child care provider for Algorri Family Childcare since 1996. She is a member of the San Diego Family Childcare Association and California Family Childcare Network. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. Algorri is a Democrat.

 

Virginia Eigen, 51, of San Jose, has been appointed to the Early Childhood Policy Council, Workforce Subcommittee. Eigen has been a child development specialist for the Campbell Union School District since 2002. She is a member of the California Early Childhood Mentor Program and the California School Employees Association Chapter 868. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. Eigen is a Democrat.

 

Tonia McMillian, 60, of Bellflower, has been appointed to the Early Childhood Policy Council, Workforce Subcommittee. McMillian has been a licensed child care provider since 1994 and owner of Kiddie Depot Family Child Care since 1996. She is an instructor for the American Red Cross and a child care provider-organizer at SEIU Local 99. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. McMillian is a Democrat.

 

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Governor Gavin Newsom
State Capitol Building
Sacramento, CA 95814


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