March 11, 2021
Jack Hinojosa, Child Development Resources of Ventura County (CDR)
Serving Children & Families
Every issue we feature stories of individuals and agencies that are making a difference in their communities during this time of COVID-19. Today we are talking with Jack Hinojosa, Chief Executive Officer of Child Development Resources of Ventura County (CDR).
CDR’s mission provides a foundation to build promising futures for children by collaborating with families and communities to deliver programs that truly enrich lives. Founded in 1980, CDR is a private non-profit, community-based organization that provides family and children services that includes Resource & Referrals to Child Care Programs, Subsidized Child Care Assistance, Early Head Start and Head Start Programs, and a variety of educational and support services all built to empower parents and their communities.
When did you get involved with your work at CDR?
Jack: I joined CDR as a program operations manager in the Head Start Program. I became the Chief Executive Officer effective in 2017. I really grew up knowing about the great work of CDR and its mission of serving children and families throughout Ventura County. More importantly, seeing my mom work tirelessly as cook at CDR’s Santa Paula Head Start center for over 38 years before she retired in 2014. I feel blessed to be at the helm of the same organization where she dedicated her life’s work of providing nutritional meals for thousands of children during her career.
What is your passion for working in the community?
Jack: My passion for working in the community was instilled in me from an early age by my parents who were my inspirational role models. They always encouraged and supported me to find ways to give back to the community, while remembering to be humble and kind. I was born and raised in Santa Paula, and fortunate to have mentors who encouraged me to further my education and attend the University of California at Santa Barbara. After returning to Ventura County, I was driven to find my “niche” in the community. Over my 36-year career working for the City of Oxnard, Clinicas del Camino Real, Inc., and Child Development Resources, my passion has been advocating to end child poverty, increase access to child care and feeding Ventura County’s children.
How are you addressing issues of Health Equity in your work and your community?
Jack: CDR’s Head Start Program’s Health & Nutrition services include medical and dental case management to support a family’s ability to keep their children healthy and ready to learn. As part of the nutrition program, we provide healthy meals and snacks. The health services we provide at CDR, and our community partnerships have made a significant and positive difference in the lives of children and families to help ensure health equity in our work and our community.
What are the areas that you hope to make changes in?
Jack: In 2019, I launched a new initiative referred to as the YES Commitment. The purpose of the YES Commitment is to inspire staff to develop and maintain positive thinking and to build on the energy, skills, and team support that will not only create a healthy working environment, but also support employee self-care and personal growth to create a stronger organization. We are committed to supporting the health, learning and well-being of all children and families.
Tell us one thing about you that helps us get to know you better?
Jack: I enjoy spending free time with my daughter, son in-law and my five grandchildren who live in Ventura. Due to the pandemic this past year, it has been challenging and difficult because I have not been able to attend any of their extracurricular activities and team sporting events. Before I was hired at CDR and much younger, I loved coaching youth sports for over 9 years in the City of Santa Paula. Also, before the pandemic, my favorite travel destination was the Hawaiian Islands.
If you could give a closing remark or words of inspiration for the community during this time, what would it be?
Jack: Prior to the pandemic, California’s family child care homes and centers supported close to one million children. Even then, the need far surpassed the existing capacity. It is family child care and center-based providers that have kept their doors open supporting essential workers and families with distance learning resulting from school closures. CDR envisions a child care and early childhood education system that serves and meet the needs of all children, families and ECE professionals, especially Black, Latinx, Indigenous people and others harmed by systemic racism and additional injustices; integrate culturally, developmentally, and linguistically relevant and responsive high-quality care and education for children, inclusive of children with disabilities; and value all who serve children and families.
Thank you Jack for sharing your experience with us. You are an inspiring Driver of Change!
Child Development Resources of Ventura County (CDR)
Jack Hinojosa is the Chief Executive Officer of Child Development Resources of Ventura County, Inc. (CDR). Hinojosa has an extensive background in administration of health care and early childhood education and development programs and more than thirty-four years of working with children and families in Ventura County. Beginning his twentieth year at CDR, he has held various management and executive positions, including Program Operations Manager (Head Start), Associate Executive Director, (Child Care Programs Department) and was CDR’s first Chief Operations Officer (COO) for four years. Hinojosa became CEO in April 2017.