About Us

Who We Are

Early Childhood OC is a community collaborative that was formed to develop Orange County’s Early Childhood Policy Framework in order to ensure that young children reach their developmental potential and are ready to succeed in school and life. The Framework ensures adults are knowledgeable, nurturing, responsive and interact effectively with other adults, children and the family unit and environments that impact children are safe supportive, stable and healthy. Through implementation of the Framework, Orange County will attain economic and social benefits.

Vision

All children are valued, nurtured, healthy and thriving.

Mission

Growing and elevating partnerships and communities to advance the Early Childhood Policy Framework and use our collective strengths for greater impact on early childhood outcomes.

Core Principles

1. Children and Families thrive regardless of income, language and culture.
2. Supports and services are coordinated and integrated across settings and sectors.
3. Policies and practices are family centered.

Early Childhood OC

Sandy Avzaradel, MS Ed | Project Director

Steering Committee

Tiffany Alva | Director of Partnerships & Government Affairs
First 5 Orange County

Barry Ross | Regional Director, Community Health Investment
Providence St. Joseph Health

Michael Arnot | Executive Director
Children’s Cause Orange County

Kate Bono, PhD | Chair, Child and Adolescent Studies
California State University Fullerton

Linda Hunter | Sr. Project Director
Pretend City Children’s Museum

Elida Garcia | Administrator
Orange County Department of Education

Judy Rose | Chief Program Officer
Human Options

Communications Committee

Andrea Dunn
MOMS Orange County

Rebecca Hernandez
Help Me Grow

Linda Hunter
Pretend City Children’s Museum

Krista Murphy
Orange County Department of Education

Anna Romiti
YMCA of Orange County

Hannah Thompson
Community Member

Outreach and Engagement Committee

Kate Bono
California State University Fullerton

Carrie Buck
H.I.S. House

Nikki Buckstead
Family Solutions Collaborative

Kimberly Didrikson
Learning Motherhood

Susie Grimm
PBS SoCal

Brett Patterson
Progressive Interventions

Judy Rose
Human Options

Alice Bubenstova
Community Leader

Alison Wright
Community Leader

Policy & Advocacy Committee

Tiffany Alva
First 5 Orange County

Michael Arnot
Children’s Cause OC

Maura Byron
Family Support Network

Fritzi Gragg
Local Planning Council

Sophia Martinez
Reimagine OC

Michelle Murphy
United Way

Jamie McDonald
American Academy of Pediatrics, OC

Christina Nigrelli
Zero to Three

Greg Mathes
Children’s Health Initiative of Orange County

Mike Odeh
Children Now

Ashley Portillo
Child 360

Iliana Soto-Welty
Multi-Ethnic Collaborative of Community Agencies

Hannah Thompson
Orange County Association for the Education of Young Children

 

 

 

Resource Development Committee

Michael Arnot
Children’s Cause Orange County

Delores Barrett
Community Action Partnership of OC

Karen Francis
Child Guidance Center

Nikita Ganatra
Kumon, Foothill Ranch

Elida Garcia
Orange County Department of Education

Mara James
Extraordinary Lives Foundation

Michelle Silva
Families Forward

Diana Torres
Children’s Home Society of California

Organizational History

The desire to create a community framework to help young children thrive grew out of the screening of the documentary, The Raising of America. This film demonstrated the importance of early childhood, and how a strong start for all young children can lead to better individual outcomes and healthier, safer, more prosperous communities. Beginning in 2017, a group of more than 40 individuals representing 30 organizations in Orange County met for over two years to develop the Early Childhood Policy Framework. This Task Force patterned Orange County’s Early Childhood Policy Framework after a similar, successful model in Colorado, called Early Childhood Colorado.

Founding Early Childhood Policy Framework Members

Brandman University

California State University Fullerton

Children’s Bureau

Children’s Home Society of California

Community Action Partnership of Orange County

Costa Mesa Family Resource Center

Early Childhood Mental Health Collaborative

Families Forward

Family Solutions Associates

First 5 Orange County

Fullerton School District

Help Me Grow Orange County

Human Options

Kuman Math and Reading Center, Foothill Ranch

Little by Little Early Literacy Project

Michael Arnot Consulting

MOMS Orange County

Orange County Association for the Education of Young Children

Orange County Child Care and Development Planning Council

Orange County Department of Education

Orange County Head Start Inc

Orange County Health Care Agency

Orange County Social Services Agency

Orange County United Way

Passionate Community Leaders

Pretend City Children’s Museum

Regional Center of Orange County

Santa Ana Early Learning Initiative

St. Joseph Hoag Health

Western Youth Services

Women Infants & Children (WIC)

Zero to Three

What We Do

  1. Increase education and awareness of the Early Childhood Policy Framework
  2. Engage and maintain strategic partnerships
  3. Provide Early Childhood Policy Framework implementation support
  4. Drive early childhood policy change
  5. Change the funding landscape to include an early childhood focus

Why We Do It

To Create
Thriving
Communities

where young children reach their developmental potential and are ready to succeed in school and life.

where adults are knowledgeable, nurturing, responsive and interact effectively with other adults, children and the family unit.

where environments that impact children are safe, supportive, stable and healthy.

so Orange County attains economic and social benefits by prioritizing children and families.

How We Do it

Strategies for Action

  • Promote and share knowledge
  • Identify and eliminate barriers
  • Build community capacity
  • Make data-informed decisions
  • Encourage public-private approaches
  • Advance adequate and sustainable funding
  • Implement quality standards
  • Embed continuous quality improvement
  • Ensure coordinated messaging

To learn more about Early Childhood OC, click on the link to a summary of our Strategic Plan