State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced today that he has appointed Stephen Propheter as the new Director of the Early Learning and Care Division (ELCD) at the California Department of Education (CDE). The division provides leadership and support to contractors and the child development community, ensuring high-quality early education programs are provided to children ages birth to thirteen years.
“Stephen’s wealth of management knowledge, innovative leadership approach, and collaborative skills will enable his division to provide crucial support to the child development community,” said Thurmond. “His passion, expertise, and compassion will be well-utilized in ensuring that California’s youngest learners have the supports needed to succeed in school and life.”
Propheter joined the CDE 12 years ago, serving in a variety of capacities in the Child Development and Nutrition Fiscal Services Unit in the Fiscal and Administrative Services Division, including budget and fiscal policy. He joined the ELCD as Associate Director in April 2019, overseeing the ELCD’s monitoring and administrative operations. As the ELCD Associate Director, he provided leadership in the implementation of the ELCD Strategic Plan, including continuing to build on the division’s work on equity and improving access to high-quality early learning and care programs.
Propheter brings to the ELCD a track record of building strong relationships with early learning and care stakeholders and contractors at the local and state level. Additionally, as a licensed family child care provider for several years, he gained insight into some of the challenges and opportunities in operating California’s mixed-delivery early learning and care programs. As the new ELCD Director, Propheter will provide leadership to continue the division’s work to improve access, partnering with other divisions in the Opportunities for All Branch to ensure that all of California’s youngest learners thrive.
Propheter earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from California State University, Sacramento. He replaces Sarah-Neville Morgan, who was appointed the Deputy Superintendent of the Opportunities for All Branch in June. Propheter started his new role as ELCD Division Director on October 11.