PQ Infant Toddler Specialist
WestEd - Center for Child & Family Studies
David Longaker majored in child development and Spanish at California State University, Chico and has done post graduate work in early childhood education and early childhood bilingual education. He has worked with young children and families since 1977. Prior to accepting the position at WestEd, David worked for 21 years in a Migrant Head Start Program that serves migrant children from 3 months to 5 years of age in eight counties in northern California. He worked as a teacher, center director, education coordinator, and program director. In addition to these local program duties, David has helped plan and present at numerous conferences, offered training and technical assistance to staff and parents, and served on numerous program quality monitoring teams at the State and national levels for the Migrant Programs Branch. Working in conjunction with parents and professional peers and colleagues across the country, David helped launch the National Migrant and Seasonal Head Start Association. (He served as the first president for the fledgling staff affiliate and, eight years later, was elected president of the first overall association board.) The Association has helped to focus national attention on issues concerning farm worker families and to improve the quality of staff development activities as well as direct services to the children and families. David has also served as an adjunct faculty member, teaching early childhood education courses in Spanish as well as English for Butte, Yuba and Modesto Junior colleges since 1987. David believes that the very best things happen in early childhood programs when parents, staff and children develop nurturing, mutually respectful partnerships.