Tara and Maria 2022
Tara Gray and Maria Arellano

California Early Childhood Mentor Program Tara Gray
School Director
Hello, my name is Tara Gray, and I am the Director at Cornerstone Children’s Center. I have over 27 years of experience in the field of Early Childhood Education as a teacher, lead teacher, program coordinator, and program director. I have a BA in Human Development with an option in Early Childhood, an AA in Liberal Arts, and hold an Early Childhood Directors Permit with the California Teacher Credentialing Department. I was also recognized in 2013 as a Mentor Teacher for the California Early Childhood Mentor Program. In 2023, I will start a new adventure as a lifelong learner and begin my Master’s in Education program for Early Childhood Development. As a newly chosen Mentor Director for the State California Early Childhood Mentor Program, I will also begin working with new leadership members of the Early Childhood Education field.

I believe that children learn best through open exploration of their environment and fun, hands-on activities. A strong home-school connection is a foundation for fostering a positive relationship with all families. Providing a nurturing and supportive environment in both enables children to reach for the stars, and their development has no end! In working with young children, I love being able to experience the joys of childhood all over by seeing things through their eyes.

Maria Arellano
Assistant School Director
Hello, my name is Maria Arellano. I am the Assistant Director at Cornerstone Children’s Center. I was born in Michoacán Mexico and migrated to this country in 2000 with my family. I have an Associate Degree in Early Childhood Development from Chabot College and hold a Master Teacher Permit from the State of California. I am working towards my Bachelor’s Degree and will soon be updating to a Site Supervisor Permit. I offer over 11 years teaching experience with children ranging in age from toddlers to preschoolers, along with supervisory experience in the field of Early Childhood Education. I have been at Cornerstone since August 2015.

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Along with having a passion for children and years of experience working in this field, all our teachers have completed coursework in Early Childhood Development. This coursework consists of classes in in the general areas of Child Growth & Development, Child/ Family and Community, and Program & Curriculum. Our Nursery teachers are also required to complete coursework in Infant & Toddler Development. All Cornerstone Teachers meet the  requirements mandated by Community Care licensing for working in the field of Early Childhood Education.

To ensure that our teachers are always ready and able to provide the best possible care to the children at our center, we require that they maintain certification in First Aid/CPR and offer both on-site and off-site opportunities for professional growth through workshops and training conferences.