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About Us

The Oregon Association for the Education of Young Children is a proud affiliate of the National Association for the Education of Young Children.  Our mission is to promote high-quality, early learning for all young children, birth through age 8, by connecting early childhood practice, policy, and research. We advance a diverse, dynamic early childhood profession and support all who care for, educate, and work on behalf of young children.  




Sara Stearns, Executive Director

Sara joined the ORAEYC staff in the fall of 2014 as the Associate Executive Director and became the Executive Director in June of 2017.  She received her M.Ed. from Southern Oregon University in 2014 and her undergraduate degree in elementary education from SOU in 1983 with an emphasis in early childhood education.  Sara has worked in the field of early childhood  education for over 30 years holding many positions including parent educator, teacher, mentor, trainer and director.  Her professional focus over the past few years has been on teaching, training and mentoring early childhood care and education practitioners.  Sara is an adjunct faculty member at Southern Oregon University's School of Education.  She is a Master Trainer for the Oregon Registry and orchestrates conferences and workshops for the early childhood care and education workforce throughout Oregon.  She is an Oregonian and lives in Oregon City.  

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ORAEYC gladly accepts tax-deductible donations to help assist with membership grants, conference scholarships and professional development opportunities. 


AmazonSmile is a website operated by Amazon with the same products and prices as The difference is that when you shop on AmazonSmile, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible products to us!

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