Our Executive Team is passionate about working hard for work worth doing. We’re driven by the idea that all children deserve a fair start and strong foundation.
Executive DirectorRead 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.
Deputy Director of OperationsRead Bio
As Deputy Director of Operations, 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.
Deputy Director of FinanceRead Bio
As Kidango’s Deputy Director of Finance, 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 an Associate Degree in International Business in addition to a Public Accounting Certificate. She is also fluent in English and Spanish.
Deputy Director of Early LearningRead Bio
As Deputy Director of Early Learning, 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!
Director of Mental HealthRead Bio
Andrea is a bilingual/bicultural (Spanish) mental health therapist who oversees Kidango’s twenty-two mental health clinicians and five interns/trainees who provide services for over 400 families in Alameda and Santa Clara Counties. Kidango’s mental health services are designed to provide treatment and intervention services to children from birth to twelve years old who have social, emotional and behavioral difficulties.
In her previous role as Kidango’s Santa Clara County Clinical Supervisor, Andrea managed Kidango’s Santa Clara County EPSDT program, provided individual and group clinical supervision to our Santa Clara County mental health clinicians, provided direct screening and assessment services to clients, monitored and ensured that documentation and case records were developed and maintained in accordance with agency, Medi-Cal and social services standards and was responsible for the overall functioning, quality and outcomes of our Santa Clara County program.
Since 2005, Andrea has worked within school districts, colleges and community based mental health organizations to provide direct services that are responsive to the psycho-social developmental needs of children, adolescents and their families. These services included providing crisis intervention, advocacy and follow-up for child victims of sexual assault and their families and providing individual and family therapy to diverse student populations exhibiting severe social and emotional impairments. In addition, Andrea worked collaboratively with Fred Finch Youth Center, Contra Costa County Mental Health and Mount Diablo High School District to coordinate and provide services to an identified group of students who required intensive mental health support.
Andrea has participated in the first year of the Santa Clara County Infant-Family Early Childhood Mental Health Certificate Program and has received training in Dr. Berry Brazelton’s Touchpoints Training. Andrea has provided trainings to other professionals who work with child victims of sexual abuse and has been invited by community organizations to speak with parents about normal sexual development in children as well as how to talk to their children about their bodies.
Andrea has a bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the University of California, Berkeley and a master’s degree in Counseling Psychology (MFT track) with a specialization in Child and Adolescent Therapy from John F. Kennedy University.
Director Human Resources and Information SystemsRead Bio
As Kidango’s Director of Human Resources, Amit leads and directs all aspects of human resource activities for the agency including but not limited to: payroll, budget management, recruiting and retention, safety program management, liability insurance and workers’ compensation policies, employee relations, benefits management, internal temporary staffing program, legal compliance as it relates to employment matters.
Amit began his career at Kidango as a Staff Accountant where he shaped the Finance Department’s cost allocation processes and procedures and used efficiency tools to analyze financial growth and viability of Kidango’s cost centers. As a member of the senior leadership team, Amit strives to create and improve systems to ensure the employee experience at Kidango is enhanced. Amit also serves on the personnel committee of the Kidango Board of Directors.
Amit holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting from California State University East Bay.
Director of Professional DevelopmentRead Bio
In her role as Director of Professional Development, Kim works closely with Kidango’s Early Learning Department to provide overall direction, coordination, and execution of training and staff development programs. In addition, Kim is responsible for supervising and working closely with the program manager of Kidango’s Family Childcare Network and the Courthouse Children’s Waiting Rooms.
Kim has over 15 years of experience working in the field of Early Care and Education, providing services in various child care center roles, ranging from Teacher’s Aide through Pre-school/School Age Director. She also has experience in developing child development performance measurement models, training, and related technical assistance to family child care providers through her previous role as Network Program Coordinator with 4C’s of Santa Clara County. Kim has also worked closely with Alameda County Child Care Resource-and-Referral agencies to develop, negotiate, execute, and provide oversight for contracted scopes of work in her role as Quality Enhancement Programs Manager with First 5 Alameda County.
Kim holds a bachelor’s degree in Child Development from California State University, Fresno, as well as a Child Development Program Director Permit issued by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. She is a Certified DRDP Trainer, and is CLASS (Classroom Assessment Scoring System) certified reliable. In addition, Kimberly’s extensive child development knowledge includes national accreditation through NAEYC, ASQ-3 and ASQ-SE screening tools, budget and programs development and management, and provision of technical assistance to ECE agencies.
Pepijn Van Houwelingen
Director of Research & EnrollmentRead 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 Director of Research and Enrollment Pepijn oversees Kidango’s Enrollment and Compliance Department, which is responsible for verifying eligibility for services, guiding families through the enrollment process and submitting all required reports to the state and federal government. But rather than seeing ‘compliance’ as the end-goal, Kidango’s philosophy is to view it as a necessary baseline or starting point from which to focus on our overarching mission: making a difference in the lives of children and families. Therefore, Pepijn is also 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.