Educare California at Silicon Valley currently serves almost 600 children ages 0 to 5 and their families in a model early learning school and family resource center. Educare is made possible through a collaboration of public and private partnerships
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Fall 2016 newsletter

Our newsletter highlights the people and programs that make Educare so special. As we continue to grow, we'll keep you updated about how we're changing the lives of children, their families, and their communities.

Educare Receives Highest Possible QRIS Rating!
Recently, we received an overall site score of 5, the highest possible rating on the Quality Rating & Improvement System (QRIS), a standard assessment of the quality of early education initiatives. This rating covers three Core Quality Elements: 1) Child Development and School Readiness, 2) Teachers and Teaching, and 3) Program and Environment.
For a center to rank so highly in its first year assessment is quite a significant accomplishment. "We are incredibly proud of the contribution of each of our site team managers, family engagement team members, mentor teachers/coaches and classroom leaders, and partners for helping us achieve the highest rating on this quality rating scale," said Jolene Smith, Board Chair and CEO of First 5 Santa Clara County. "Our teamwork and dedication makes Educare a high quality early learning space with strong family engagement, creating great outcomes for young children and families each and every day."
Camille Maben, Member of the Board of Directors and Executive Director of First 5 California, said: “Congratulations to our site team members! You should be very proud – your QRIS rating is a symbol of all of your hard work and accomplishments in this inaugural year and of your commitment to continuous improvement and to carrying that momentum into the year ahead!"
“Receiving the highest QRIS rating is really rewarding to my Infant/Toddler caregivers," noted Debby Barnes, Program Coordinator for East Side Union High School District Child Development Program (one of Educare's partnering agencies). "As part of the leadership team I am so proud of the high quality child/family support we provide at Educare California at Silicon Valley. Receiving a Tier 5 rating demonstrates the level of individualized child support and family engagement we foster not only in our Infant/Toddler classrooms but throughout the entire ECSV campus."

We will remain committed to continuous program improvement, and to serve as a model early learning school to other early learning educators. 

We would like to extend a huge thanks to our partners FIRST 5 Santa Clara County and First 5 California for providing guidance and support throughout the process.
New Supporters

We are grateful to The Scott Foundation for providing a grant to support our high-quality early learning classrooms, resource-packed Family Resource Center, activities, and more.

We've had many site visits with potential funders, and we'll have some exciting updates for you that we'll share in our next newsletter.

Join us in giving low-income children in East San Jose the opportunity for a successful life by donating online.

Educare in the news
We are honored to be featured in recent local articles:

The Mercury News: U.S. kindergarten gains: Who gets the credit?

Spotlight in Education: Episode #2 - The Importance of Early Learning

CCSESA COE Spotlight: Educare California at Silicon Valley 
Connect with us
Explore Educare’s Museum and Library!

One of Educare's unique features is the satellite museum and free library we offer to the Santee community. By partnering with the Children's Discovery Museum of San Jose and the San Jose Public Library, we are able to bring these resources to families who might otherwise be unable to benefit from visiting them directly because of transportation, time or financial constraints. “Being exposed to new ideas from books and museum exhibits in early childhood really sets the trajectory to do well in school in the long-run. It really makes a difference, especially for these kids in the Santee neighborhood where they wouldn’t have this exposure otherwise," said Juan Cruz, Superintendent, Franklin-McKinley School District. "You can see how excited they are to learn!”  

The arboretum-themed satellite museum is located throughout the center’s hallway. Children enjoy hands-on experiential fun while learning about nature and exploring science by climbing an interactive tree, reading facts about trees, and playing with tactile rocks and leaves to learn about systems and elements. “It was important to us to bring interactive learning experiences in a one-of-a-kind environment to the students and complement what they are learning in their classrooms and beyond Educare’s walls,” said Marilee Jennings, Executive Director of the San Jose Children’s Discovery Museum.

For more intentional learning, teachers can incorporate “nature walks” into their curriculum in a number of ways, such as by counting the number of trees or playing memory games with the names of different types of trees. Parents also have the opportunity to engage in the fun alongside their little ones, and think of creative ways to keep the learning going at home.

Educare offers children and families other ways of bonding through fun learning methods: books. Through a partnership with San Jose Public Library, books are available to families inside the Family Resource Center. Children’s brains are 80% developed by age 5, so the early years are critical for children to learn language and concepts. By reading to their kids, parents help them become kindergarten ready and start a journey to success in school and beyond.

“When we first heard that Educare was opening, we jumped at the opportunity to connect more kids with books! We love that our books will be associated with playing and fun, so that kids develop a love for reading and learning,” said Library Director Jill Bourne.

Thank you to our partners for bringing these San Jose gems to the Santee neighborhood!

New Leadership

As we near our one-year anniversary, we welcome two new board members who bring fresh perspectives, vision and energy to our early learning efforts.

“We are thrilled to have Fred and Greg join our board this year. They have been true supporters and partners since Educare’s inception, and we look forward to accomplishing many things together,” said Jon Gundry, Vice Chair of the Board of Directors and County Superintendent of Schools, Santa Clara County Office of Education.

Fred Ferrer, President of The Health Trust, has spent his career championing children and health: “My vision is for Educare to become a beacon of early learning – to be known for our best practices and to attract educators not only from Silicon Valley but also from around the state to visit, learn our methods, and bring those strategies back to their own communities, so that all children have access to high quality classrooms and programming.” 

Greg Kepferle, CEO of Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County, works tirelessly to improve the lives of children and the community: “My vision for Educare is to become a key player in driving early education policy at the state and federal levels to help prevent the cycle of generational poverty. Educare is modeling effective on-the-ground classroom practices, and we can influence policies to ensure that appropriate funding and regulations are in place to improve early education for all children, especially those most in need.” 

“Greg and Fred bring new perspectives to our board, along with vast nonprofit experience. They’ll add a lot to our leadership team, and help us to grow during these first formative years," said Meera Mani, Secretary of the Board Directors and Director of Children, Families & Communities, The David & Lucile Packard Foundation.

Making an impact in policy

Educare advocates for policies that will improve early childhood education at the local, state, and national levels.

  • Led by Early Edge California, Educare and several partners -- including FIRST 5 Santa Clara County and First 5 California -- signed on to a letter recommending effective ways to promote early education through state and local implementation and coordination of the federal Every Student Success Act (ESSA).
  • On July 21, Educare’s Board Vice Chair Jon Gundry, County Superintendent of Schools, spoke at the Right Start Commission Town Hall. Hosted by partner SCCOE, the town hall explored the recently released Rebuilding the California Dream report by The Right Start Commission, which presents a blueprint for a child-centered system that nurtures every child from the beginning of life. Other presenters included partners Liz Simons (Right Start Commissioner and Board Chair of Heising-Simons Foundation); Corazon Basa Cortes Tomalinas (Chair of the FIRST 5 Santa Clara County Commission); and Craig Cheslog (Common Sense Kids Action Vice President of California Policy). The town hall brought together like-minded community members and educators to discuss next steps to giving the right start to all students.
  • In June, Educare was Invited to participate in the Ounce of Prevention Fund’s 5th Annual Policy Exchange in Chicago. Board member Camille Maben (Executive Director, First 5 California) spoke about training early childhood educators. Our work on the ESSA letter was also recognized at the conference.
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Our mailing address is:
1399 Santee Dr, San Jose, CA 95122

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Educare California at Silicon Valley · 1399 Santee Dr · San Jose, CA 95122 · USA

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