Winchester, California
Infant/Toddler Specialist
Grossmont College - Child Development Center
San Diego
Michelle Soltero improves the quality of family child care and center-based infant/toddler care in California through her work with WestEd's Program for Infant/Toddler Care, Partners for Quality (PITC PQ).

Funded by the California Department of Education's Child Development Division, PITC PQ supports family child care and center-based infant and toddler care throughout California. As a Regional Coordinator, Soltero is responsible for the coordination and support of PITC training activities within Region XII, which encompasses California's San Diego and Imperial counties.

Soltero assists with equitable distribution of PITC training, provides coaching services for child care organizations throughout the region, develops and maintains a regional network of PITC Infant Toddler Specialists, and coordinates training efforts with other California Department of Education, Child Development Quality Improvement projects. As a result of Soltero's work, children 0�3 years of age and their families receive quality care from child care organizations statewide, and infant teachers have improved their practice and their understanding of infant development in group care.
Prior to joining WestEd, Soltero was the Senior Program Officer for the Head Start Quality Improvement Center Development Associates, Inc., where she provided training and technical assistance to Early Head Start programs in Arizona, Nevada, California, and Hawaii. Soltero helped Early Head Start staff enhance their skills and interactions with infants and toddlers in group settings, resulting in close, caring relationships with children and their families.

She served as President of the California Association for the Education of Young Children from 2001�2003 and governing board member of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) from 2004�2008. Soltero has presented at conferences of NAEYC and the California Association for the Education of Young Children, as well as at local conferences.

Soltero was recognized for her leadership in the area of supporting men in early childhood education from the NAEYC Men Interest Forum 2004. She also was recognized by the NAEYC Latino Interest Forum 2007 for her leadership in advocating that all children receive optimal learning experiences from birth to 8 years of age.

Soltero received a BA in child development from California State University, San Diego, and an MA in human development from Pacific Oaks College.