Strength in Structure

Strength in Structure

Heidi Thumlert

I love fall – it is my favorite time of year! To celebrate the passing of summer I took my chocolate lab Radar to the beach recently. He had a blast, so much so that he decided to roll in the edge of the waves, before retrieving the ball I had thrown for him, and for Radar to not catch a ball first is usually unheard of. This kind of joy is similar to one we feel because we work in Early Education! There is nothing like stepping away for even a few days to help us gain clarity, for me the clarity always brings me back to knowing I work in the most important profession there is.

The passing of seasons is like a predictable routine, something we can count on, which brings comfort and a sense of new energy. On my bookshelf is an illustrations-only picture book for children called, The Tree and the Seasons, by Lela Mari. The charming pages show the tree and the creatures that live in, around, under and below the tree. A gentle reminder of the importance of respect for nature and how a simple routine that is so important to us and the children that we get to be with every day.

Last month, I shared with you the delightful story of Hilda Needs Help! by Richard Scary. Our Standing Committee structure is one of the places where help comes for us. The work of the Association could not happen without the support of a strong, highly-engaged Standing Committee structure. Without this system we would not be sustainable. It allows CAAEYC to move forward like a finely oiled machine. It gives members opportunity to drive the content for our Annual Conference and the California Forum for Professional Development, where we collaborate with California Department of Education Early Learning and Care Division.

Standing Committees are chaired by a Member-at-Large. They are appointed by the President and approved by the CAAEYC Board. Members of these committees can include members and nonmembers. Are you getting intrigued yet? To make this even more intriguing, yes there is a certain amount of protocol that each group needs to follow, like reporting to Board, meeting regularly and documenting those meetings. However (this is the best part), the structure also allows for the members to be a part of a team that is passionately, creative about an important topic.

The following list are those Standing Committees that you can directly become engaged with.

  • Accreditation: Chair Christie Verarde
  • Conference: Chair Shera Scott
  • Diversity in Action: Chair Cary Larson -McKay
  • Family Child Care: Chair Jagruti Patel
  • Men and Early Care and Education: Chair Jose Nunez
  • Professional Development: Chair Patrick Romero
  • Public Policy: Chair James Moses

Are you intrigued now? If so, reach out to us at We would love to hear from you.