Born, raised and educated in Santa Monica, early childhood educator Monica Delia is now helping to educate her home community’s youngest learners.

“How and what children learn during their pre-school years sets the foundation for how well they will learn and flourish in their later years,” said Delia, explaining why the work she does is so critical.

“The early years in a child’s life are so important. This is the time where they are not only learning how to walk and talk; children are learning how to be around others and developing who they are as a person. The skills they learn will carry on into their adulthood. If there are any concerns regarding a child’s development whether it is a speech delay, cognitive delay, or even behavioral concerns, this is the time where it can be caught early and addressed. The earlier the better. All children deserve every opportunity to be as successful as possible,” she said. “This is why I am passionate about the work I have been doing with Connections For Children for the past three years.”

Delia graduated from Santa Monica High School and then Santa Monica College, earning an associate’s degree in early childhood education.

“The instructors at SMC were very knowledgeable and experienced in the Child Development field,” she said. “I loved the courses, and my time spent in a preschool classroom completing my practicum hours solidified my passion for child development.

Delia transferred to Cal State Northridge to earn a bachelor’s degree in child and adolescent development. She will be returning to CSUN in the fallto begin a master’s program focusing on early education.

As a professional development Coach, Delia works with preschool and child care teachers helping them to improve the quality of their teaching program. She also shares her expertise with early childhood education students, providing free one-on-one coaching.

“We want child care to be viewed as a profession, so quality and standards are important,” she said. “They are not just babysitters.  They have expertise and knowledge of child development and know how to provide age-appropriate and goal-oriented learning activities to the children in their programs.”

In 1976, Connections For Children was founded in Santa Monica as one of the first child care resource and referral agencies in California.  Now, 40 years later, CFC has helped tens of thousands of families meet their needs for child care and early education. Today, CFC helps more than 3,000 families annually of all income levels obtain quality child care arrangements, including free referrals, parent education and family development resources.

Delia is recently engaged and still lives in Santa Monica. In her leisure time she enjoys hiking, movies and reading.

– By Jacqueline McLean-Jones, Special to the Daily Press

Photo credit to Mathieu Young