Erin Smeltzer, MS, is a ZERO TO THREE Fellow. She is currently the Director of the School Readiness Program for the Office of Early Learning (OEL), Florida Department of Education.
For more than a decade, Ms. Smeltzer has tirelessly advocated for advancements in quality early childhood education and experiences. Through her experience as an early childhood educator and child care center director she learned the ability of children to exceed all expectations, if given the opportunity. She endeavored to share this truth by serving as an undergraduate practicum supervisor with Florida State University. Every intern who entered her school was immersed in the idea that early childhood must become a priority in our society. Ms. Smeltzer used her positions as President of the local NAEYC affiliate and Florida AEYC Public Policy representative to continue advocating for this cause on a national level. Eager for a more influential platform, Ms. Smeltzer joined the team at OEL, where she currently oversees all of the statewide quality initiatives funded by the Child Care Development Fund. She is directly responsible for managing numerous multimillion dollar projects aimed at promoting an integrated early childhood system that prioritizes Florida’s youngest children. Her current priorities include initiatives in professional development, infant/toddler quality, preschool quality, inclusion, and continuous quality improvement. Ms. Smeltzer received her Bachelor’s degree in Child and Family Development from the University of Georgia and Master’s degree in Education from Nova Southeastern University. Her favorite quote says, “What if I fall?” “Oh darling, but what if you fly?” She believes every child should have the chance to fly.