News Release

Orange County Early Childhood Educator Awards Slated for June 27

​(Santa Ana, CA)—Research has shown that the early years in a child's life—when the human brain develops the vast majority of its neurons—represent a vitally important window of opportunity to develop a child's full potential and form key academic, social, and cognitive skills that determine a child's success in school and in life. Behind every successful child is a whole host of caregivers, parents, teachers and others who helped shape who they will become.

"Early learning and care professionals are often not recognized for the valuable contributions that many make to the lives of children and families," said Dr. Regina Rei Lamourelle, Santiago Canyon College human development department chair and president-elect of Orange County Association for the Education of Young Children (OCAEYC).

To spotlight the role that early learning and care professionals play in young children's lives, Rancho Santiago Community College District (RSCCD) Child Development Services and OCAEYC are co-hosting the first Orange County Excellence in Early Child Care and Education Awards Brunch. The celebration is slated for Saturday, June 27, 2015, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. The location is Dove Canyon Country Club, 22682 Golf Club Dr., Trabuco Canyon, CA 92869.

Partner agencies include the Orange County Department of Education, Orange County Association for the Education of Young Children (OCAEYC), Children's Home Society, the Orange County Planning Council, and Rancho Santiago Community College District. Awards will be given to early care professionals who care for children or who educate staff who will teach children birth through age eight.

This event, the First Annual Excellence in Early Care and Education Awards, is spearheaded by Lamourelle, and Janneth Linnell, executive director for RSCCD Child Development Services.

"We need to make the care and learning visible by appreciating those who have contributed to the lives of children and families. Brains are developed from the prenatal period on, not beginning in kindergarten," Lamourelle said. "The value of the social, emotional and academic foundations, supported by early care professionals, is often overlooked by a concentrated focus on K-12 education. Early education is a part of the learning continuum, not separate from it, and recognizing the efforts of the early care professionals acknowledges this."

Awards and scholarships will be given to students, caregivers and providers who have been nominated for excellent service, scholarship, and care. This celebration is open to the public; the cost is $15 per person. For more information, visit or contact Dr. Regina Lamourelle at or Janneth Linnell at

About Rancho Santiago Community College District
Santa Ana College and Santiago Canyon College are public community colleges of the Rancho Santiago Community College District, which serves the residents of Anaheim Hills, Orange, Santa Ana, Villa Park, and portions of Anaheim, Costa Mesa, Irvine, Fountain Valley, Garden Grove, and Tustin.. Both colleges provide education for academic transfer and careers, courses for personal and professional development, and customized training for business and industry.

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Contact: Judy Iannaccone

Phone: (714) 480-7503