Director Of New Office Of Early Care And Education Appointed

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San Francisco Department of Children, Youth and Their Families

SAN FRANCISCO—Mayor Edwin Lee has appointed Barbara Carlson as the first new Director of the Office of Early Care and Education (OECE).

In a press release from the mayor’s website, Lee stated the following, “I am excited to work closely with Barbara and bring her nationally recognized experience back to San Francisco to further improve preschool and early care services,” said Mayor Lee.  “Her experience in child advocacy and services on a local and national scale, her collaborative leadership approach and her new team will help our youngest citizens succeed.”

Carlson started her career as a teacher in the San Francisco Unified School District and she was also the founding director of the San Francisco Starting Points Initiative in the Mayor’s Office of Children, Youth and Their Families back in 1996; it’s now known as DCYF.  She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Education from Brooklyn College, City University of New York; she also hold’s a Master’s degree in Special Education from Teacher’s College at Columbia University and a law degree from Golden Gate University.

She has worked as a Staff Attorney at the Child Care Law Center in San Francisco, for the New York State Council and for the New York City Administration for Children’s Services. Carlson recently worked as Program Manager in the Office of Child Care, Region II for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  The OECE program was established in 2012 to help assist various programs and funding for the Department of Children, Youth and Their Families (DCYF), the San Francisco First Five Commission and the Human Services Agency (HAS) to provide for children up to five years old in the city.

The OECE aims to develop early care and education, strengthen the workforce and system that aids those programs. Michele Rutherford was appointed by Mayor Lee as Deputy Director. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Music and Communication from Olivet College in Michigan and a Master’s degree in Social Science and Urban Studies from the University of Michigan, as well as a Master’s degree in Social Work from Western Michigan University. Rutherford has been working with the city since 1984.

By LaDale Anderson