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The mission of the WestEd E3 Institute-Excellence in Early Education (E3) is to support and strengthen the quality of early education services by promoting professional development of early childhood educators to ensure the highest quality early learning experiences for Santa Clara County's youngest children.

E3 serves California's Santa Clara County and reaches new recruits, home-based early educators, center-based programs, programs for children with special needs, employers, faith-based early educators, and the corporate community with the goal of leveraging local resources for child care professionals.

Research has shown that child care offered by qualified early care educators produces better child outcomes, and improved long-term intellectual, emotional, and physical health. Research has also shown that many early childhood education professionals leave the field because they lack financial incentives, a livable salary, and recognition for their work. However, because professional development linked to compensation can significantly improve the stability of the child care workforce and the quality of services to children and families, the Institute's CARES program links educational attainment, professional development, and longevity in the field to financial incentives.

A primary goal of E3 is to leverage local child care resources and lead Santa Clara County's early childhood workforce into a new era of commitment to and support for professional development that benefits children, families, and early education professionals alike.

The E3 Institute is made possible by funding from FIRST 5 Santa Clara County and First 5 California.

"There is a compelling need in California to create and implement a comprehensive, and integrated system of information and services to promote, support and optimize early childhood development from the prenatal stage to five years of age."
California Children & Families Act, 1998

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