With an extensive and diversified background in the nonprofit sector both in the U.S. and overseas, Waddell brings multiple strengths and executive management skills to CCA, including nonprofit management, public sector management, early childhood education and philanthropy.
“Kara is a proven leader who understands the goals of Child Care Associates and the importance of early childhood education in the development and future success of young children," said John Fonvielle, Board chair. "She brings significant experience and an impressive track record to our organization and our community. We look forward to having Kara lead CCA into the future as we develop strategies for growth and innovative programs to meet the needs of the children and families of our region.”
Most recently, Waddell was executive director of the Early Learning Hub, Inc. in Mid-Willamette Valley, Ore. From the ground up, she built the nonprofit around a collective impact model. She helped secure the State of Oregon’s first contract to coordinate early childhood services collaboratively with K-12 schools, early learning, social service agencies, healthcare and business. Prior to that, Waddell served as the State of Oregon’s Child Care Executive, overseeing the state’s child care licensing, child care quality improvement and statewide child care subsidy system. She also served on the Governor’s Early Learning Council.
Among her accomplishments, Waddell co-developed and secured a federal Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge Grant award for Oregon. Waddell also oversaw the development and launch of the state’s star-rated Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) to help ensure low-income children have access to quality early learning environments.
Before moving to Oregon, Waddell lived in China for more than a decade and is proficient in Mandarin. In China, she served as Country Director for an international Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), developing innovative programs in global child advocacy.
Waddell is an honors graduate of Duke University with a B.A. in Psychology (Developmental)
About Child Care Associates
Child Care Associates (CCA) is one of the largest private non-profit child development organizations in the region, operating 35 child development centers throughout Fort Worth and Tarrant County. CCA manages Head Start and Early Head Start programs, as well as child care programs, child care subsidy assistance and special initiatives in Tarrant County and west central Texas, all focused on supporting early childhood development. Additionally to support school readiness, CCA has active collaborations with five Tarrant County school districts where ISD and CCA teachers work side by side in delivering dynamic educational programs to low income preschool children. For more information, www.childcareassociates.org