Child Development Resources CEO Recently Interviewed on Ventura TV

Child Development Services CEO, Mr. Jack Hinojosa was recently interviewed by Ventura TV’s Sandra Siepak. Our CEO and Sandra discussed key topics including Child Development Resources, Head Start and State legislation.

Scroll down to watch the interview or read the transcript.

Full Transcript

Sandra Siepak: Hello everyone and thank you for joining us today on Ventura TV. I’m Sandra Siepak. Our guest today is Jack Hinojosa. He is the CEO of Child Development Resources serving Ventura County. Thank you for joining us on the show today, Jack. I’m so happy to have you on the show.

Jack Hinojosa: Thank you Sandra.

Sandra Siepak: We’d like to hear a little bit more about Child Development Resources. It’s a great nonprofit organization serving the folks here in Ventura County, so we’d like you to give us a little bit more insight into what you do.

Jack Hinojosa: Thank You Sandra and thank you for the opportunity to share some information about our organization. Child Development Resources, also known as CDR, was founded in 1980. We receive federal, state and local contract funds to administer the Head Start, Early Head Start, California State Preschool, subsidized child care and resource and referral programs in Ventura County. Before incorporation in 1980 we were the federal grantee for the war on poverty in 1965. So, we’ve been the Federal Head Start preschool grantee since 1965 serving Ventura County.

Sandra Siepak: I’d like to hear a little bit about CDR’s vision and some of the principles that you have for guiding this organization, and as the CEO some of the things that you oversee.

Jack Hinojosa: I’m very honored to be the new CEO of Child Development Resources. I just celebrated my second anniversary, but I’ve been with the organization for 18 years.

Our mission statement at CDR Child Development Resources of Ventura County is to provide a foundation to build promising futures for children. We collaborate with families and communities to deliver programs that enrich lives. Our vision is that every child’s growth and development will be fully supported to ensure a happy and successful adult life. Our core principles are really what drives the organization and all we do and all we advocate on behalf of children and families.

Our core values are integrity, teamwork, education, accountability, diversity, equality, excellence and most of all fun.

Sandra Siepak: I think it’s really good to know that licensed childcare centers really make a difference for all kids. Everybody across the board benefits from this.

Jack Hinojosa: Absolutely.

Sandra Siepak: Let’s talk a little bit about that and how your organization steps up and does that.

Jack Hinojosa: Through our Federal Head Start preschool programs we operate and administer 26 preschool centers that are located throughout Ventura County, in almost in every community. Sixteen of those 26 centers are located in the Oxnard Plains area because of the high need experienced by low-income families for preschool services. In addition to that, through our subsidized childcare program we serve about 3,000 children a year where we contract directly with licensed center-based and also licensed family childcare providers.

We have a database where we have contracts with over 800 providers in the community of Ventura County. So through our resource and referral program any client that is looking for quality childcare can contact our resource and referral department. Our resource and referral staff has access to over 800 providers.

Choosing quality childcare is one of the most important decisions parents will have to make for their children. We match families based on their childcare needs and their particular geographic location. We also give them technical assistance on what to look for in a quality childcare setting for their children.

Sandra Siepak: Is the childcare Head Start program, and some of the other programs that you offer, completely without charge to the families?

Jack Hinojosa: Typically the childcare Head Start program is without charge because the Federal program provides resources for low-income families based on their eligibility and need.

However, the state subsidized program, depending on which child care provider the family selects, may include a minimal out-of-pocket family fee. The California Department of Education contracts with our agency to provide subsidized child care for low-income and vulnerable populations in our county.

Sandra Siepak: That’s good. As you are aware, Governor Newsom is a big supporter of early childhood education and supports many of these programs across the board, which is making a big impact now on many children and will make an impact on their future. What do you have to say about that?

Jack Hinojosa: Yes. We’re very excited with the release of Governor Newsom’s January budget proposal and we’re eagerly waiting their revised budget. I’d like to go back to Great Recession period when the administration’ early care and education budget was approximately $4.3 billion statewide.

Unfortunately, since that time period we have suffered a $1.1 billion dollar cut, which translates into 100,000 less children being served statewide. Which runs contrary to all the research regarding investing in early childcare and education to get children ready for school and family strengthening program.

We are very optimistic about Governor Newsom’s major proposals for investment in the California State Preschool Program. He is proposing $245 million for infrastructure, which is critical to the development of additional preschool sites statewide as well as in Ventura County and another $245 million proposed for workforce and professional development in our field.

All that relates into higher quality of services in childcare settings, whether they are center based or home based. Also, some parents rely on their family, friends and neighbors for childcare. So we continuously work through our resource and referral department to provide technical assistance and training to raise the quality of childcare here in Ventura County. Governor Newsom understands that.

Sandra Siepak: That’s right he does. He is certainly is stepping up to the plate.

Jack Hinojosa: Yes, he is.

Sandra Siepak: What age can children begin the program?

Jack Hinojosa: In the Federal Head Start program we try to target and serve three- and four-year-olds before they get into kindergarten. The early Head Start program serves pregnant mothers and their children ages zero to three. This early Head Start program can be home based or center based.

Primarily it is home based. We have 244 children that are served in the Early Head Start Program.  Family Development educators actually go into the home and work with the entire family, including siblings.

We’re very proud that we were one of 38 grantees on President Obama’s initiative called “Early Head Start Childcare Partnership” four years ago. That grant gave us the opportunity to develop a toddler center in Oxnard and we’re currently serving eight children in that center. In addition to that, we are collaborating with 15 family care providers who are also serving 40 children. So, a total of 44 children are being served via the Early Head Start Childcare Partnership.

Sandra Siepak: That really makes a difference too.

Jack Hinojosa: Yes. These initiatives are the kind of initiatives that our early care and education advocates fully support.

Sandra Siepak: Right, eligibility is important.

Jack Hinojosa: Absolutely.

Sandra Siepak: So really what is the criteria to be eligible for this type of program?

Jack Hinojosa: I don’t want to get into their specifics, but in general for the Federal Head Start program we have experienced staff that determines eligibility. Families submit an application along with income information. Acceptance into the program is determined by the Head Start performance standards related to eligibility selection and attendance for our programs.

On the State side, it is based on the families’ need for childcare. We call it Certified Hours of Need. It is also based on their income. In the last couple of years there has been a piece of legislation in the State program that states we now only have to certify a family once.

Recertifications really took focus away from our parenting and case management services. Staff was continuously just pushing paper to recertify families. However, approximately two years ago there was legislation that approved certification for 12 months of eligibility. This makes it much easier for the clients once they are in the program. They don’t have to worry about recertifying until 12 months later. This State program is subsidized and goes from 0 to 13 years of age.

Sandra Siepak: Okay good. What are some of the feelings that you have about the program and that you would like to see for the future? What are some of the changes that you would like to see being made?

Jack Hinojosa: As I mentioned earlier, I’ve been at the helm of CDR for two years, but I have been with the organization for 18 years.

There are three major areas of focus for us, which are also highlighted in our mission statement. But we cannot do this work along. Our collaborations and partnerships with other nonprofit organizations and other government entities are vitally and critically important to fulfill our mission. So, maintaining and strengthening our partnerships that can provide services, especially to populations that have non-traditional hours and need evening and weekend care, is key.

The second area of focus is the organization itself. I am currently working with a consultant and my executive team. We’re doing some visioning for the organization through 2025. Some of the items we are examining focus in on the organization and the clients we serve. We are also focusing on our advocacy efforts to business and the legislature. Lastly, we are focusing on our efforts to expand the number of childcare spaces that are available in Ventura County.

Sandra Siepak: This will serve so many more children.

Jack Hinojosa: Absolutely. To that end we have an eligibility waiting list. I ran some numbers this morning and that eligibility list currently has 786 families and 1,425 children that are waiting for childcare. So, obviously there’s a need for expansion and that is one of the goals we have to work through with our legislature. Hopefully, there’s an assembly bill 194 that’s seeking a billion dollar investment in early care and education statewide. If that transpires there will be contract increases for our agency. Then one of the first priorities will be to enroll those children on the waiting list.

Sandra Siepak: Which brings me to ask funding is so crucial for this.

Jack Hinojosa: Absolutely.

Sandra Siepak: So, on your end now are there other ways to get funding? Are there other ways to accumulate the funding to get these programs in place?

Jack Hinojosa: Very good question. Currently our budget is at $47.7 million and as I mentioned earlier during the Great Recessions we had a 25% reduction. However, these investments are now at the highest level since then, when our agency was at $50 million annually.

So, funding does require effort in terms of collaboration and partnerships. This allows us to leverage funding shared resources, shared services and other strategies. We also rely on our advocacy efforts here locally with our elected representatives, as well as at the State Capitol. We bring to their attention the need and importance for increased childcare funding.

As an organization, one of our 2025 vision plan goals is also looking at business development and how we might be able to expand into providing other services and perhaps make them available to other nonprofit organizations through a shared services approach.

Sandra Siepak: Very good.

Jack Hinojosa: Yes, and of course, we need to do some focus on private fundraising. So, to that end we just recently updated our CDR website in January. Phase two of the website will specifically target contributors and local donors. We’ll also be exploring private foundation funding in the near future.

Sandra Siepak: This could not be accomplished without a very hardworking style and hardworking volunteers.

Jack Hinojosa: Yes.

Sandra Siepak: Let’s focus on that a little bit. Let’s just briefly mention them and what they do for the organization.

Jack Hinojosa: Before I joined Child Development Resources my mother coincidentally worked as a Head Start preschool cook for 38 years. So, that was my first introduction to Child Development Resources when I was in middle school.

Sandra Siepak: Mom knows best.

Jack Hinojosa: Mom knows best. And you know, she exemplified the type of employees that DCR has working for it. We currently have a staff of 361 employed in various roles; teachers, instructional staff, assistant teachers, coordinators, managers; an executive team, a qualified volunteer and a board of directors. We also have a Policy Council that is volunteer-based comprised of Head Start parents that have children enrolled in the program. Their commitment and dedication to our mission, our vision and our core principles guides the work that we do every day.

We could not do it without them. They, in turn, make the organization look good, but more importantly their passion for serving children and families in Ventura County is unwavering. I’m very proud to be the chief executive officer of an organization that has such a long standing.

Sandra Siepak: With a great team of people.

Jack Hinojosa: I think we have an opportunity in 2020. It will be our 40th anniversary and we will be exploring some celebratory activities and events to commemorate 40 years of service.

Sandra Siepak: Why don’t you share the website with us so that if there are people out there who want to get additional information they can go to the website and get more from that.

Jack Hinojosa: Sure. As I mentioned earlier, we launched our new CDR website on the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday and the website address is www.CDRV.org. It is a very robust website.

Sandra Siepak: It is I’ve been on it it’s very easy to follow. I think is very important, very easy to go through and you can look for the information that you want and find it immediately.

Jack Hinojosa: Yes, the website is a good source but our central offices are located at 221 East Ventura Boulevard in the city of Oxnard. We have a 66,000 square foot campus in downtown Oxnard. So clients, whatever their preference and whatever is more convenient for them, can go to our website, call our resource and referral program at 805-485-7878 ext. 512 and that immediately connects them with their resource and referral specialists.

Sandra Siepak: Great information.

Jack Hinojosa: This is trained in all the programs. Then if they would like to do so, they can drop by our office and come in and say hello.

Sandra Siepak: And meet Jack.

Jack Hinojosa: Absolutely, my door is always open.

Sandra Siepak: Jack Hinojosa thank you so much. The CEO of Child Development Resources serving Ventura County is doing very good work here for so many children and we hope you keep up all that you’re doing.

Jack Hinojosa: Thank you, Sandra. Again, thank you for the opportunity to share information about our organization.

Sandra Siepak: Thank you again.

Jack Hinojosa: You’re welcome.

Transcript

Sandra Siepak: Hello everyone and thank you for joining us today on Ventura TV. I’m Sandra Siepak. Our guest today is Jack Hinojosa.He is the CEO of Child Development Resources serving Ventura County. Thank you for joining us on the show today, Jack. I’m so happy to have you on the show.
Jack Hinojosa: Thank you Sandra.

Sandra Siepak: We’d like to hear a little bit more about Child Development Resources. It’s a great nonprofit organization serving the folks here in Ventura County,so we’d like you to give us a little bit more insight into what you do.
Jack Hinojosa: Thank You Sandra and thank you for the opportunity to share some information about our organization.Child Development Resources, also known as CDR, was founded in 1980.We receive federal, state and local contract funds to administer the HeadStart, Early Head Start, California State Preschool, subsidized child care and resource and referral programs in Ventura County. Before incorporation in 1980 we were the federal grantee for the war on poverty in 1965. So, we’ve been the Federal Head Start preschool grantee since 1965 serving Ventura County.

Sandra Siepak: I’d like to hear a little bit about CDR’s vision and some of the principles that you have for guiding this organization, and as the CEO some of the things that you oversee.

Jack Hinojosa: I’m very honored to be the new CEO of Child Development Resources. I just celebrated my second anniversary, but I’ve been with the organization for 18 years.
Ourmission statement at CDR Child Development Resources of Ventura County is to provide a foundation to build promising futures for children. We collaborate with families and communities to deliver programs that enrich lives. Our vision is that every child’s growth and development will be fully supported to ensure a happy and successful adult life. Our core principles are really what drives the organization and all we do and all we advocate on behalf of children and families.
Our core values are integrity, teamwork, education, accountability, diversity, equality, excellence and most of all fun.

Sandra Siepak: I think it’s really good to know that licensed childcare centers really make a difference for all kids.Everybody across the board benefits from this.
Jack Hinojosa: Absolutely.

Transcript

Sandra Siepak: Let’s talk a little bit about that and how your organization steps up and does that.

Jack Hinojosa: Through our Federal Head Start preschool programs we operate and administer 26 preschool centers that are located throughout Ventura County, in almost in every community. Sixteen of those 26 centers are located in the Oxnard Plains area because of the high need experienced by low-income families for preschool services.In addition to that, through our subsidized childcare program we serve about 3,000 children a year where we contract directly with licensed center-based and also licensed family childcare providers.

We have a database where we have contracts with over 800 providers in the community of Ventura County.So through our resource and referral program any client that is looking for quality childcare can contact our resource and referral department. Our resource and referral staff has access to over 800 providers.

Choosing quality childcare is one of the most important decisions parents will have to make for their children. We match families based on their childcare needs and their particular geographic location. We also give them technical assistance on what to look for in a quality childcare setting for their children.

Sandra Siepak: Is the childcare Head Start program, and some of the other programs that you offer, completely without charge to the families?

Jack Hinojosa: Typicallythe childcare Head Start program is without chargebecause the Federal program provides resources for low-income families based on their eligibility and need.

However, the state subsidized program, depending on which child care provider the family selects, may include a minimal out-of-pocket family fee. The California Department of Education contracts with our agency to provide subsidized child care for low-income and vulnerable populations in our county.

Transcript

Sandra Siepak: That’s good.As you are aware, Governor Newsom is a big supporter of early childhood education and supports many of these programs across the board, which is making a big impact now on many children and will make an impact on their future.What do you have to say about that?

Jack Hinojosa: Yes.We’re very excited with the release of Governor Newsom’s January budget proposal and we’re eagerly waiting their revised budget.I’d like to go back to Great Recession period when the administration’ early care and education budget was approximately $4.3 billion statewide.

Unfortunately, since that time period we have suffered a $1.1 billion dollar cut, which translates into 100,000 less children being served statewide. Which runs contrary to all the research regarding investing in early childcare and education to get children ready for school and family strengthening program.

We are very optimistic about Governor Newsom’s major proposals for investment in the California State Preschool Program. He is proposing $245 million for infrastructure, which is critical to the development of additional preschool sites statewide as well as in Ventura County and another $245 million proposed for workforce and professional development in our field.

All that relates into higher quality of services in childcare settings, whether they are center based or home based. Also, some parents rely on their family, friends and neighbors for childcare. So we continuously work through our resource and referral department to provide technical assistance and training to raise the quality of childcare here in Ventura County. Governor Newsom understands that.

Sandra Siepak: That’s right he does. He is certainly is stepping up to the plate.
Jack Hinojosa: Yes, he is.

Transcript

Sandra Siepak: What age can children begin the program?

Jack Hinojosa: In the Federal Head Start program we try to target and serve three- and four-year-olds before they get into kindergarten. The early Head Start program serves pregnant mothers and their children ages zero to three. This early Head Start program can be home based or center based.
Primarily it is home based. We have 244 children that are served in the Early Head Start Program. Family Development educators actually go into the home and work with the entire family, including siblings.
We’re very proud that we were one of 38 grantees on President Obama’s initiative called “Early Head Start Childcare Partnership” four years ago. That grant gave us the opportunity to develop a toddler center in Oxnard and we’re currently serving eight children in that center. In addition to that, we are collaborating with 15 family care providers who are also serving 40 children. So, a total of 44 children are being served via the Early Head Start Childcare Partnership.

Sandra Siepak: That really makes a difference too.
Jack Hinojosa: Yes.These initiatives are the kind of initiatives that our early care and education advocates fully support.

Sandra Siepak: Right, eligibility is important.
Jack Hinojosa: Absolutely.

Sandra Siepak: So really what is the criteria to be eligible for this type of program?

Jack Hinojosa: I don’t want to get into their specifics, but in general for the Federal Head Start program we have experienced staff that determines eligibility. Families submit an application along with income information. Acceptance into the program is determined by the Head Start performance standards related to eligibility selection and attendance for our programs.
On the State side,it is based on the families’ need for childcare.We call it Certified Hours of Need.It is also based on their income. In the last couple of years there has been a piece of legislation in the State program that states we now only have to certify a family once.
Recertifications really took focus away from our parenting and case management services. Staff was continuously just pushing paper to recertify families. However, approximately two years ago there was legislation that approved certification for 12 months of eligibility. This makes it much easier for the clients once they are in the program. They don’t have to worry about recertifying until 12 months later. This State program is subsidized and goes from 0 to 13 years of age.

Transcript

Sandra Siepak: Okay good. What are some of the feelings that you have about the program and that you would like to see for the future? What are some of the changes that you would like to see being made?

Jack Hinojosa: As I mentioned earlier, I’ve been at the helm of CDR for two years, but I have been with the organization for 18 years.
There are three major areas of focus for us, which are also highlighted in our mission statement. But we cannot do this work along. Our collaborations and partnerships with other nonprofit organizations and other government entities are vitally and critically important to fulfill our mission. So, maintaining and strengthening our partnerships that can provide services, especially to populations that have non-traditional hours and need evening and weekend care, is key.
The second area of focus is the organization itself. I am currently working with a consultant and my executive team. We’re doing some visioning for the organization through 2025. Some of the items we are examining focus in on the organization and the clients we serve. We are also focusing on our advocacy efforts to business and the legislature. Lastly, we are focusing on our efforts to expand the number of childcare spaces that are available in Ventura County.

Sandra Siepak: This will serve so many more children.

Jack Hinojosa: Absolutely. To that end we have an eligibility waiting list. I ran some numbers this morning and that eligibility list currently has 786 families and 1,425 children that are waiting for childcare. So, obviously there’s a need for expansion and that is one of the goals we have to work through with our legislature. Hopefully, there’s an assembly bill 194 that’s seeking abilliondollar investment in early care and education statewide.If that transpires there will be contract increases for our agency. Then one of the first priorities will be to enroll those children on the waiting list.

Transcript

Sandra Siepak: Which brings me to ask funding is so crucial for this.
Jack Hinojosa: Absolutely.

Sandra Siepak: So, on your end now are there other ways to get funding? Are there other ways to accumulate the funding to get these programs in place?

Jack Hinojosa: Very good question. Currently our budget is at $47.7 million and as I mentioned earlier during the Great Recessions we had a 25% reduction. However, these investments are now at the highest level since then, when our agency was at $50 million annually.

So, funding does require effort in terms of collaboration and partnerships. This allows us to leverage funding shared resources, shared services and other strategies. We also rely on our advocacy efforts here locally with our elected representatives, as well as at the State Capitol. We bring to their attention the need and importance for increased childcare funding.

As an organization, one of our 2025 vision plan goalsis also looking at business development and how we might be able to expand into providing other services and perhaps make them available to other nonprofit organizations through a shared services approach.

Sandra Siepak: Very good.

Jack Hinojosa: Yes, and of course, we need to do some focus on private fundraising. So, to that end we just recently updated our CDR website in January. Phase two of the website will specifically target contributors and local donors. We’ll also be exploring private foundation funding in the near future.

Transcript

Sandra Siepak: This could not be accomplished without a very hardworking style and hardworking volunteers.
Jack Hinojosa: Yes.

Sandra Siepak: Let’s focus on that a little bit.Let’s just briefly mention them and what they do for the organization.

Jack Hinojosa: Before I joined Child Development Resources my mother coincidentallyworked as a Head Start preschool cook for 38 years.So, that was my first introduction to Child Development Resources when I was in middle school.

Sandra Siepak: Mom knows best.

Jack Hinojosa: Mom knows best. And you know, she exemplified the type of employees that DCR has working for it. We currently have a staff of 361 employed in various roles; teachers, instructional staff, assistant teachers, coordinators, managers; an executive team, a qualified volunteer and a board of directors. We also have aPolicy Council that is volunteer-based comprised of Head Start parents that have children enrolled in the program. Their commitment and dedication to our mission, our vision and our core principles guides the work that we do every day.
We could not do it without them. They, in turn, make the organization look good, but more importantly their passion for serving children and families in Ventura County is unwavering. I’m very proud to be the chief executive officer of an organization that has such a long standing.

Sandra Siepak: With a great team of people.
Jack Hinojosa: I think we have an opportunity in 2020.It will be our 40th anniversary and we will be exploring some celebratory activities and events to commemorate 40 years of service.

Transcript

Sandra Siepak: Why don’t you share the website with us so that if there are people out there who want to get additional information they can go to the website and get more from that.

Jack Hinojosa: Sure.As I mentioned earlier, we launched our new CDR website on the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday and the website address is www.CDRV.org. It is a very robust website.

Sandra Siepak: It is I’ve been on it it’s very easy to follow. I think is very important, very easy to go through and you can look for the information that you want and find it immediately.

Jack Hinojosa: Yes, the website is a good source but our central offices are located at 221 East Ventura Boulevard in the city of Oxnard. We have a 66,000 square foot campus in downtown Oxnard. Soclients, whatever their preference and whatever is more convenient for them, can go to our website, call our resource and referral program at 805-485-7878 ext. 512 and that immediately connects them with their resource and referral specialists.

Sandra Siepak: Great information.
Jack Hinojosa: This is trained in all the programs. Then if they would like to do so, they can drop by our office and come in and say hello.

Sandra Siepak: And meet Jack.
Jack Hinojosa: Absolutely, my door is always open.

Sandra Siepak: Jack Hinojosa thank you so much. The CEO of Child Development Resources serving Ventura County is doing very good work here for so many children and we hope you keep up all that you’re doing.
Jack Hinojosa: Thank you, Sandra.Again, thank you for the opportunity to share information about our organization.
Sandra Siepak: Thank you again.
Jack Hinojosa: You’re welcome.

Watch this interview on OurVentura.com.

2020-09-21T02:17:34-07:00