Community Bridges’ Child Development Division changes name to “Early Education Division”

Watsonville, Calif. – Community Bridges’ is renaming the program devoted to building early social emotional, physical and cognitive development from the “Child Development Division” to the “Early Education Division” or “EED”.  After reaching out to agency staff, families, and community stakeholders, the organization’s philanthropic Board of Directors unanimously voted to support the change at its meeting earlier this month.

The move is being made to better differentiate the services we provide and have offered in our community-based organization for the past several decades. This will allow families to recognize their various choices in their child’s early educational experience as well vocalize our continued alignment of our services with early educational goals across the state.  In 2021, the state of California announced an expansion to its “Transitional Kindergarten” program to allow all 4-year olds to enroll in TK or TK/K combination classrooms. The changes are already rolling out in our local school districts and will continue over the next three years.

“Our program brings in curriculum, assessments, social emotional development, and play in a nurturing bilingual setting that has always been targeted to preparing our community’s children for the transition to elementary school,” said Early Education Division Program Director Lisa Hindman Holbert. “The name change is meant to better reflect the entire scope of the work we do with our children and families.  We teach. We certainly care for children and we also want to ensure the community knows that we are an important part of the infrastructure in children’s education in our county.

The majority of Community Bridges’ EED Teachers are bilingual/bicultural, and all have a minimum of 12 units of early childhood education (ECE). They continue pursuing their educational goals, including attaining a degree in ECE, while also completing professional development annual including participating in training offered by our County Office of Education, First 5 Santa Cruz County, and Quality Counts Santa Cruz County and focus on other targeted areas, such as trauma informed care, inclusion, dual language learners, best practices in the field. They are trained in developmental assessments and tools to help created rich curriculum plans and activities, to allow for small group, large group, and generous free play time. We foster and promote each child’s individual development, while focusing on the whole child and supporting the families goals.

“As the state and nation modernizes their thinking about early childhood education, it made sense for Community Bridges to make this small but meaningful change to the program name to demonstrate our long-term commitment to the whole child’s emotional and educational development,” added Community Bridges’ CEO, Raymon Cancino.

ABOUT COMMUNITY BRIDGES 

Community Bridges envisions a thriving community where every person has the opportunity to unleash their full potential. Together, our family of programs delivers essential services, provides equitable access to resources, and advocates for health and dignity across every stage of life. To learn more, please visit www.communitybridges.org

 The Community Bridges family of programs includes the Child & Adult Care Food Program, Early Education Division, Women, Infants and Children (WIC), La Manzana Community Resources, Live Oak Community Resources, Mountain Community Resources, Nueva Vista Community Resources, Elderday Adult Day Health Care, Lift Line and Meals on Wheels for Santa Cruz County. 

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