Yvette Sanchez Fuentes leads the organization’s national strategy to advance both Start Early and Educare Learning Network policy agendas and strengthen partnerships with peer organizations and federal agency staff. She also oversees the National Center for Parent, Family, and Community Engagement, one of four National Centers that develop evidence-based best practices for Early Head Start and Head Start programs across the country.
A nationally recognized early childhood expert, Yvette have been influential in driving effective policy and practice change in areas of Head Start, child care and the workforce through intentional engagement of stakeholders. Yvette has dedicated her professional career to understanding how policy, research and implementation impact lifelong outcomes for young children and their families struggling with adversities (low-income households, migrant and seasonal farm workers, immigrant communities, American Indian and Alaska Native populations and dual language learners).
Prior to joining Start Early, she served as Director of the Office of Head Start, a Presidential Political Appointee, where she shepherded sweeping reforms including the release of the Head Start Roadmap and the creation and rollout of the Parent, Family and Community Engagement Framework. She also steered the launch of a pilot program that allowed spending flexibility for creating additional early learning programs, which led to the implementation of Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships.
Yvette began her career at Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo, Inc. She received her B.A. in liberal arts from California State Polytechnic University.