Our Executive Team is passionate about working hard at work worth doing. We’re driven by the idea that all children deserve a fair start and strong foundation.
Chief Executive OfficerRead Bio
Scott brings over 20 years of education policy and management experience to Kidango. As Chief Policy Advisor for Early Edge California, he helped lead the expansion of preschool access to over 170,000 children each year through the establishment of the new Transitional Kindergarten grade and the consolidation of existing preschool programs into the new California State Preschool Program.
In 2014, Scott served as a Senior Fellow at the Goldman School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley. In 2011, he was appointed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to be Executive Director of the California Early Learning Advisory Council. Scott is former Director of Early Education at Kidango, where he led the program operations. He is also a co-founder of a private Montessori school in Oakland.
Scott received his BA in Political Science from UCLA, his MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern, and has taken early childhood education courses at Pacific Oaks College.
Chief Operations OfficerRead Bio
As Chief Operations Officer, Kate Breitzman’s role at Kidango is overseeing our Facilities, Nutrition and Enrollment Departments. She is also responsible for working with collaborative partners in designing, setting-up and licensing new facilities. Kate is responsible for ensuring all Kidango centers provide an environment that is conducive to learning with safe, appropriate and comfortable settings for all children. Kate has over twenty five years experience with Community Care Licensing and has over 19 years experience with construction projects, including those funded by Community Development Block Grant programs. In addition, Kate has held certification as a CA Playground Safety Inspector and is also a member of Kidango’s Risk Management and Wellness Committees.
Over the past 19 years Kate has led Kidango to successfully license all of our centers, including the opening of over 40 new centers.
Kate’s educational background is from Cal State East Bay in Liberal Studies, Early Child Development and Playground Safety.
Chief Financial OfficerRead Bio
As Kidango’s CFO, Nereyra is responsible for overseeing the agency’s accounting and program compliance functions. In this position, she works to ensure Kidango is in compliance with funding terms and conditions of all funding sources and ensures Kidango follows generally accepted accounting principles including those set by the Independent Auditor, the Federal Office of Management and Budget, and Kidango’s Board of Directors.
Prior to taking on the Director of Finance role, Nereyra spent two years as Kidango’s Finance Manager which provided her extensive experience with the financial systems of Kidango. Her past work as a Senior Accountant for the Insight Center for Community Economic Development in Oakland, CA and an Accountant for Instituto Familiar de la Raza in San Francisco, CA have also equipped her with the skills to successfully lead Kidango’s Finance Department. In these positions, Nereyra has managed all accounting functions including payroll, accounts payable, accounts receivable, account reconciliations, revenue recognition, cost allocations and financial reporting.
Nereyra has long been devoted to employing her skills in agencies committed to the betterment of the community. She takes great pride in her work at Kidango and the contribution she is able to make to the organization’s current and future financial stability. Nereyra holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Management, University of Phoenix and an Associate Degree in International Business in addition to a Public Accounting Certificate. She is also fluent in English and Spanish.
Chief Early Learning OfficerRead Bio
As Chief Learning Officer, Jennifer is responsible for supervising and working closely with Kidango’s team of Regional Directors, Director of Professional Development and Kidango’s Head Start Program Manager. She provides leadership, training and technical assistance and support to help ensure that our programs for children and families are of high quality, demonstrate best practices and are compliant with California Department of Education Regulations (Title 5), Community Care Licensing Regulations (Title 22) and Head Start Performance Standards.
Jennifer has more than 23 years of experience in the field of Early Care and Education, working in both private and publicly funded programs. She was a Lead Teacher at the Mills College Children’s School (a lab school for training Early Learning professionals) for many years, an Education Specialist for Early Head Start in Oakland, and has more than 15 years’ experience at Kidango, first as a Center Director, then a Regional Director and now in the role of Deputy Director of Early Learning.
Jennifer holds a BA degree in Child Development from Mills College. She is certified as a West Ed PITC trainer and completed 1 year of the Harris Infant Mental Health Training Program. She is a member of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and serves as a Public Policy Advisor for the California Child Development Administrator’s Association. She holds a Program Director Permit, issued by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.
On a personal note, Jennifer’s son attended Kidango from 6 months of age until he entered Kindergarten in 2014 so she can attest to the value of a Kidango early learning experience!
Chief People OfficerRead Bio
A Salinas, CA native, Andrea studied Sociology at the University of California, Berkeley and mastered in Counseling Psychology (with a specialization in Child and Adolescent Therapy) at John F. Kennedy University. Her greatest passion is working with children and high-risk youth who experienced trauma.
She feels most successful when others around her have the tools they need to be their best selves. Whether that takes the form of parents who are able to better understand and address the needs of their child, or team members who are able to grow into leadership roles, Andrea’s philosophy is to always improve the experience of all parties involved one interaction at a time.
Vice President, Advocacy and PolicyRead Bio
As Vice President of Advocacy and Policy, Michele leads Kidango’s advocacy efforts to advance an early childhood system that ensures all children have the skills they need to be ready for success in school and life.
Prior to joining Kidango, Michele served as Director of Government Affairs, Policy and Communications for the Children’s Defense Fund-California. At CDF, Michele led the organization’s Ending Child Poverty campaign and oversaw state policy and communications work to create a level playing field for children in California. Michele led a successful campaign to expand the state Earned Income Tax Credit to benefit more than a million low-income working families, and worked with partners to establish California’s first state-funded home visiting program for vulnerable children, expand health coverage to 170,000 undocumented children in California, and increase basic needs welfare grants in California.
Previously, Michele ran advocacy and communications campaigns to increase access to quality early learning for Preschool California, analyzed issues of homelessness and childhood hunger as a Dukakis Fellow in Colorado Governor Bill Ritter’s office, and co-founded the Massachusetts Cradle to Prison Pipeline Coalition. Michele has a Master’s in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Raised by community organizers in inner-city Denver, Michele is a lifelong social justice activist and an avid proponent of public schools.
Michele can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pepijn Van Houwelingen
Vice President, Research and PolicyRead Bio
Originally from the Netherlands, Pepijn van Houwelingen has made the Bay Area – and Kidango – his adopted home. As a lifelong believer in the importance of education, Pepijn feels strongly about ensuring that all children have the opportunity to grow and learn to the best of their abilities.
In his capacity as Vice President of Research and Policy, Pepijn is tasked with leading Kidango’s efforts to track the outcomes of our programs through rigorous research and facilitating collaborations with some of the nation’s top academic researchers in the field of Early Education. His goal is to utilize data as well as cutting-edge scientific research to continuously improve Kidango’s programs and to maximize their positive impacts.
Pepijn holds a BSc and an MSc in Public Administration from the Erasmus University in Rotterdam (Netherlands), and a PhD in Political Science from Royal Holloway, University of London (United Kingdom). His Doctoral research investigates the dynamic between rational self-interest and moral imperatives in public policy through the lens of collaborations between government, business, and non-profits as they worked together to address issues of unemployment, poverty, and social instability.