Foothill College is a CARES Partner
CARES is a financial stipend program designed to encourage and reward those early childhood education professionals who are seeking degrees. CARES, which stands for Comprehensive Approaches to Raising Educational Standards, has helped nearly 4,900 early educators in Santa Clara County. This represents more than 79% of the estimated providers in this county. The CARES program helps build a skilled, stable, early education workforce by linking monetary rewards with educational attainment and professional development.
Marian Browning is the on-site CARES Representative for Foothill College. The CARES office is located in Room J-2A at the Middlefield Campus. If you are working with children (ages 0-5) for a minimum of 15 hours per week in a licensed child care center or family child care home, you should contact her to schedule an appointment to see how to qualify for cash stipends and to develop your Professional Development and Education Plan (PDEP). She will also help you obtain a California child development permit. You can email her at CARESprogram@foothill.edu or call (650) 949-6962 for more information.
To find out if you qualify for CARES Plus or want to enroll, please go
to www.santaclaracares.org and get details.
The deadline to register for 2012-2013 School Year is September 30th.
As a CARES Representative of Foothill College I have opportunities to work with students who are directly working with children. The services offered are creating and updating of a Professional Development Plan (PDEP), referral for assessment and academic advising, and obtaining a permit issued by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. There have been many studies showing a direct correlation between higher education levels of preschool teachers and quality in their classrooms. I like to think of CARES as a win-win situation for both those teachers trying to obtain their degree and the children and families served by these teachers.
I met Lynda in the Winter of 2006 in my Child, Family & Community class. As I explained the CARES program to my class Lynda became excited. She contacted me to obtain paperwork to obtain her first permit - Assistant Teacher. In 2007 she made an appointment with me to create her PDEP. At that point in time Lynda was concentrating on completing her Child Development courses. I advised her to start looking into general education classes that would help her upgrade her permit and reach her goal of an Associate Degree.
Most of the child development students work a full time job and take courses in the evening and on Saturdays. With only so many hours in the day, it is hard for most of them to complete more than one or two classes each quarter. This makes the goal of obtaining a degree a long term goal and is only accomplished with sheer determination.
Each year as I met with Lynda to update her PDEP I saw her growing professionally. Her general education courses will be completed in Winter 2010 and she will have obtained an AA degree in child development. She has been diligent about her pursuit of a higher education and this meant sometimes retaking classes that didn't go so well the first time around. At our last meeting in December Lynda was able to upgrade her permit to Teacher level. She has also taken steps to broaden her leadership and co-presented a workshop at a regional conference this past year.
Quote from Lynda: "CARES has helped guide me in the correct path with pursuing
my degree by using its guidelines to achieve each step level, heightening my education
and knowledge. The incentives offered from CARES have been an added bonus for me. I've
used it towards books and other school fees, as well as partially for spoiling myself.
Lynda continues to work in the early care and education field and has transferred to
Pacific Oaks College to earn her BA.
If you are interested in working with children, consider the Child Development program at Foothill College. If you currently work with children and want to become a part of the CARES Program, please contact Marian Browning and schedule an appointment to discuss an education plan and goals.
Story by Marian Browning