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On this episode of The Early Link Podcast, host Rafael Otto talking with Miriam Calderon, the Early Learning System Director at the Early Learning Division in Oregon’s Department of Education. Miriam has been a long time advocate for early childhood and is leaving Oregon for a new position in the Biden-Harris Administration. 


Miriam Calderon has been the Early Learning System Director overseeing the Early Learning Division in Oregon for the last 4 years. Previously, Calderon has worked on policy at the BUILD initiative and served as a political appointee in the Obama Administration. She also served as the Director of Early Childhood Education at DC Public Schools, where she oversaw Head Start and pre-kindergarten programs, including helping to implement universal pre-kindergarten in DC.


Miriam discusses her role as Early Learning System Director and the vision she has for Oregon’s early childhood system. She also shares the negative impact of undervaluing childcare providers  and describes the access vs quality tension that exists when trying to solve problems in the early childhood field. Looking forward, Miriam explains how we can continue to build the early childhood education system to support children and their families, and the importance of making big, institutional changes over small, program adjustments. Finally, Mariam shares what she is hoping to accomplish at the federal level in her new role in the Biden-Harris administration.


Rafael Otto, Director of Communications, Children’s Institute

~ Thanks to Children’s Institute, working to ensure that every child in Oregon has the best start in life