Duane Dennis is the executive director of Pathways, a community-based nonprofit focused on ensuring area families have access to early childhood education and child care. He is also a First 5 LA Commissioner. Appointed by the Policy Roundtable for Child Care, he joined the Commission in April of last year and is one of First 5 LA's newest Commissioners.
A native of Baltimore, Dennis received his bachelor's degree in psychology from Towson University, which is eight miles north of Baltimore and recognized among the nation's best regional public universities. He then received his master's degree from the University of Maryland's School of Social Work. His graduate work focused public administration and the care of children, something that would prove to be a theme in his professional life.
After graduating, Dennis began his career as the manager of the Baltimore City Department of Social Services, Child Care Subsidy Program. Seeing a need for quality child care and more extensive coordination in the field of child care, Dennis became the founding executive director of the Baltimore City Child Care Resource Center. He served in this role for six years and was then brought to California by the Pomona Unified School District.
Upon coming to Southern California, and prior to his work at Pathways, Dennis served as manager of the Family Preservation, Resource and Referral and Alternative Payment programs with the Pomona Unified School District.
Dennis has presented both nationally and internationally on such topics as the impact of violence on young children; women, race and inequality; and programmatic topics in child care quality. He has also published the following papers: Child Care Needs Assessment Study in the Baltimore City Empowerment Zone (August 1996) and Child Care in a Community of Violence (1993).
Dennis is also involved with several L.A. County organizations that promote justice and fairness, especially for those who are disenfranchised. In addition to serving as a First 5 LA commissioner he serves as president of the National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (NACCRRA) and is a member of the Policy Roundtable for Child Care.
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