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Educational Services Division

One Childhood, One Chance—Showing Up for Children


pre-K student with teacher

A welcoming and friendly crowd of nearly 300 early educators attended the Central Coast Early Care and Educationís Annual Conference. They showed up for children. These early educators dedicated all day Saturday, October 12th learning how to better support the young children in their care. They understand that providing quality early learning opportunities for children helps families, children, schools and our community. Attendees were offered 30 workshops with topics ranging from supporting cognitive and social competences for young children to learning about positive discipline and fundamental movement skills.

Miche Mosher and Diane Oyler

Miche Mosher (left) Vision and Voice Award, with Diane Oyler, Conference Coordinator


The conference organizers' goal is for all children to have a quality early learning experience. It is undisputed that high quality early education improves a child's readiness for school and therefore life. Superintendent Michael Watkins supports the emerging research that shows:
  1. High quality early education is one of the best financial investments that saves society money over time.
  2. Early childhood programs keep women in the workforce supporting families and bolstering economic growth.
  3. Quality early childhood programs are a major factor in breaking the cycle of poverty and educational low achievement.
Therefore, the Santa Cruz County Office of Education, along with strong community partnerships, sponsors the conference.

Francisca Perez

Early Educator of the Year Francisca Perez. Honoring leaders and teachers in the field is a conference tradition.


As he welcomed the audience, Superintendent Watkins thanked them for giving up their Saturday for children. He acknowledged them as leaders helping families to raise young children to grow up and become lifelong learners and eventually adults able to make a positive economic contribution to our community. He commented, "You sing, read, play, teach, rock, comfort, care and soothe our children at a time when they need it the most and I thank you."

Early educators make a lasting impression on a child—helping them to reach their highest potential. Dedicated early care providers are changing the fate of our youngest and most vulnerable, and provide a significant contribution to our community.

Early educators tour quality early learning environment at Head Start program.

Early educators tour quality early learning environment at Head Start program.


Superintendent Michael Watkins with keynote speaker Janis Keyser

Superintendent Michael Watkins with keynote speaker Janis Keyser



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Learn more about the Child Care Planning Council.


Santa Cruz County Office of Education  |  400 Encinal Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95060  |  831.466.5600  |  Fax: 831.466.5607
The Santa Cruz County Office of Education provides quality educational programs and services to a diverse community.