As we welcome in a new year, I want to thank you for your flexibility, hard work, and persistence throughout these challenging and confusing times. Unfortunately, it is clear that COVID-19 will still be with us for some time. But we’re now so much more knowledgeable and experienced than we were at the start. Let’s reflect on all the lessons we learned in 2020 and use them as fuel to propel us forward into 2021.


In January we presented the annual Golden Apple Award to two exceptional early educators— Adriana Provens from Pomona USD and Nancy Chavez from Children’s Institute, Inc. The Golden Apple honors those who find new ways to engage families and children, create meaningful learning interactions, and excel in teaching and leadership. I hope you will join me in also taking this opportunity to recognize all teachers and staff serving children and families in these trying times.

Heading into spring, let’s focus on reaching as many children as possible with high-quality early learning. Continue actively recruiting in your communities in innovative ways, and keep highlighting the benefits of distance and virtual learning, which remains an excellent opportunity for many families, even as we are able to reopen more centers. We also need to look ahead to 2021-22. While so much remains unknown, the planning we do now will set the foundation for a successful year.

We are living in interesting times, but we are getting through it together. Thank you for your perseverance. Our babies are worth it.