Posted on April 10, 2023
In 2023, ACNJ welcomed Winifred Smith-Jenkins as the Director of Early Learning Policy and Advocacy. With an impressive professional background spanning over two decades in managing three successful family-owned child care programs in northern New Jersey, Winifred brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to her role at ACNJ. Her expertise in child care and early learning, along with her extensive management experience, where she was responsible for leading approximately 100 employees, building relationships, managing commercial acquisition, construction, project management, flood mitigation, disaster preparedness, and community service initiatives, will prove invaluable in guiding ACNJ’s policy work and overall operations.
Prior to her appointment as Director, Winifred was actively engaged in ACNJ’s advocacy efforts, offering testimony, presenting on webinars, and meeting with public officials to effect change on a statewide level. Currently, as the leader of the early learning policy team, she works closely with key stakeholders to advance ACNJ’s mission of ensuring affordable, quality early learning is accessible to all families in need. Winifred’s proven track record of community involvement is extensive, having served on several committees, including the South Orange Maplewood School District Preschool Reopening Committee, the East Orange Preschool Advisory Council, and the former East Orange Mayoral Economic Development and Education Transition Team. She has also volunteered as a Summit Volunteer First Aid Squad member and served as a State of New Jersey Licensed Foster Parent and Certified Emergency Medical Technician.
Winifred is a member of several professional and national organizations, including the National Association for the Education of Young Children, the New Jersey Association for Infant Mental Health, Delta Sigma Theta, and Jack and Jill of America. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology, a Master of Science in Health Administration, and is currently pursuing a Doctoral degree in Higher Education. Her vast experience, deep commitment to child advocacy, and dedication to community involvement make her an invaluable addition to ACNJ’s team of early learning policy experts.