Palo Alto Advisory Committee on Early Care & Education (PAACECE)

Palo Alto Advisory Committee on Early Care and Education

What is PAACECE?

The Palo Alto Advisory Committee on Early Care and Education Committee (PAACECE) is an advisory committee to the City on issues related to child care (ages 0 -12) and early learning.

What does it do?

PAACECE has three main goals: 1) We CONNECT providers and educators in the early education community through collaboration and ongoing professional development.  2) We SUPPPORT early education programs in their ongoing efforts to enhance quality.  And 3) We ADVOCATE on behalf of families and teachers of young children to raise awareness of the challenges and opportunities facing early education programs today.  

We are currently (2018-2019) engaged in an assessment of Palo Alto families with young children that will provide data and information on the needs and desires of Palo Alto’s diverse families and create a plan for the City and community organizations collaborate to improve support for these families. Stay tuned for the findings and next steps for PAACECE and the community in addressing the assessment’s action steps.

Highlights of PAACECE’s past work include:

  1. Hosting a First 5 Kindergarten Readiness panel discussion to support teachers as they prepare kinder-ready students.
  2. Creating scholarships for teachers to attend CAEYC, the preeminent California conference for early education professionals.
  3. Partnering with Stanford WorkLife Office to bring International Educator and Stanford graduate Dr. Lillian Katz here to lead a professional workshop for early education teachers.
  4. Bringing together children and teachers to create a guide to the city through the art and thoughts of the youngest citizens in our community.The Places to Play booklet was the product of fourteen programs and thirty six young artists who chose to share their favorite places to play in Palo Alto. This booklet is a beautiful tribute to the valuable thoughts and contributions of the youngest citizens in our community. The booklet can be accessed via the City’s website @ https://issuu.com/paloaltorec/docs/places_to_play_revised
  5. Created an innovative, reflective “Community of Practice” for teachers from multiple programs to learn about and practice new pedagogical techniques that focus on collaborative and interest-based learning, reflection, and teacher intentionality in our work with young children and their families. Two six month programs have been completed that have brought early childhood educators together from various community child care and development centers to advance their development as educators.

Who is on the Committee?

The members of PAACECE can include representatives from the City of Palo Alto, Palo Alto Community Child Care, Palo Alto Unified School District, Stanford WorkLife Office and other center or family based child care providers, and at large representatives from government or nonprofit agencies serving the needs of young children and their families,  Retired Child Care Administrators, Parenting  or Education Specialists, Parent/consumer (of child currently enrolled in a program) - Palo Alto or Stanford.  Please see contact information at the bottom if you would like to get more information about joining the committee.

Current Members 2018-2019

Joan Baran

Children's Health Council

 

Lisa Rock

Palo Alto Community Childcare

 

Shannon Coleman

Preschool Family/Young Fives-PAUSD

 

Rachel Samoff

First 5 Commission/Coach

 

 Allison Guerra

Stanford WorkLife Office

 

Minka van der Zwaag
City of Palo Alto

 

 Heidi Emberling

Jewish Family Children’s
Services/Parent’s Place

Ollia Yenikomshian

Children's Pre-School Center

What is its history?

PAACECE continues the legacy started in the 1970’s by a group of Palo Alto residents concerned about the care of Palo Alto’s youngest citizens.  At that time, the group worked with the City to create a bold partnership to devote public funds to childcare: a ground-breaking step for a municipal government at that time.  The agency which developed out of that original partnership became known as Palo Alto Community Child Care or PACCC, and the goal, which continues to this day, was to establish and maintain high quality childcare services for city residents, subsidizing costs for families that could not afford the full fee for services.           

In the late 1980’s the legacy continued with the creation of the City’s Child Care Master Plan, which promoted availability, accessibility and affordability of high quality childcare and education.   During this time, the City established a Child Care Task Force that was populated by city council approved commissioners and served to create a Child Care Master Plan and to provide guidance and advice to the City as it strove to meet the child care and child development needs of Palo Alto families. Around 1999 the Task Force was discontinued and a Child Care Advisory Committee was established to continue to advise the City regarding family support and early care and education. And that work continues today.

Palo Alto is currently home to 65 licensed childcare and early education programs and 27 licensed family childcare providers serving thousands of children and families in Palo Alto.

How can I contact PAACECE?          

Feel free to reach out to Minka van der Zwaag, Human Services Manager, City of Palo Alto @ minka.vanderzwaag@cityofpaloalto.org or 650-463-4953.