Yvette Sanchez Fuentes is a nationally recognized early childhood expert who has been influential in driving effective policy and practice change in Head Start, Child Care and workforce through the 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 including low-income, migrant and seasonal farm workers, immigrant communities, American Indian and Alaska Native, and dual language learners. Yvette served as the Director of the Office of Head Start, a Presidential Political Appointee at the United States Department of Health and Human Services. In her role as Director, Ms. Sanchez Fuentes led the Administration’s critically important mission of enriching the quality of early childhood development for our nation’s most vulnerable children.
In her role as Director, Ms. Sanchez Fuentes led the agency in shepherding in sweeping reforms including the release of the Head Start Roadmap, the creation and rollout of the Parent, Family and Community Engagement Framework, the design and implementation of the designation renewal system. In addition, Yvette led reforms to align and support the work of Head Start and Child Care at the federal, state and local level through the implementation of the first round of National Training and Technical Assistance centers and launching a pilot program that allowed grantees spending flexibility for creating programs for children ages birth to 5 which led to the implementation of the Early Head Start Child Care partnerships. In addition, Yvette supported the implementation of the Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge grants specifically leading efforts to ensure that states demonstrated a commitment to parent, family and community engagement.
Yvette served as Director of the Children, Youth, and Family Services Division at Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo, County in California where she oversaw the Head Start, Early Head Start, Migrant and Seasonal Head Start, and State Child Development Programs. Her responsibilities included services in 11 California counties.
Ms. Sanchez Fuentes has served as a National Head Start Fellow where she provided consultation in literacy, parent education, child care collaborations, and program improvement to Migrant and Seasonal Head Start and other early childhood education programs nationwide.
Yvette began her career at Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo, Inc. where she managed the family child care initiative in the migrant and seasonal Head Start program. She received her B.A. in Liberal Arts from California State Polytechnic University.