Position: Director of Early Learning

Location:  Olympia, Washington

Organization: Child Care Aware of Washington

Sandra Maldonado is a first-generation Mexican American raised in Los Angeles, California and currently residing in Lacey, Washington (on the ancestral lands of the Nisqually people who continue to steward the land). Her background and lived experience as a bilingual, bicultural woman of color humbled her and nurtured her passion and skill in developing relationships with diverse individuals and families to create collaborative and inclusive partnerships. She is dedicated to supporting children, families and the early learning workforce. Her drive is rooted in her passion to advance an anti-racist policy, practice and support for communities.  

Maldonado’s 23-year career in the field of early care and education includes many roles, beginning as a parent volunteer in a military child development center, caring for and teaching infants, preschool, school age children and providing coaching and consultation for QRIS systems. Leadership roles include Center Director, Early Head Start Director and currently her position of   Early Learning Director for CCA of Washington’s QRIS TA/Coach and Professional Development system.   All her previous positions inform her contributions to the ongoing development of Washington’s QRIS initiative.   She is particularly interested in supporting leadership development of the early learning workforce across multiple systems and settings.  

She is a first-generation college graduate, earning a bachelor’s degree in Human Services Management and later obtaining a master’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Pacific Oaks College.