The Audacious Foundation’sSBC Early Childhood Director’s Retreat for Center-Based Programs


The Audacious Foundation recognizes the value and importance of high-quality early childhood education on our collective future. The Foundation also sees that leaders of ECE programs deserve and value the opportunity to reset, refresh and recharge after the tumultuous years of Covid and difficult, ever-changing staffing and sector challenges.


As a result, the Audacious Foundation funded and held a three-day Director’s Retreat in October 2022 in San Luis Obispo.

The Retreat provided 60 SBC-based ECE center directors with the opportunity to connect and meet with each other, plus time to get re-inspired through new information about timely topics including:

  • Whole child development strategies including the latest in outdoor and nature-based programming 
  • Addressing challenging behaviors caused by many facets of the pandemic on young children.
  • Dozens of low-cost and no-cost ways to engage and retain teachers, and
  • How to reconnect with one’s values to provide authentic leadership.


Based on the success of the 2022 event and overwhelmingly positive feedback from Retreat attendees, the Audacious Foundation is pleased to sponsor a second annual SBC Early Childhood Directors Retreat on October 12-14, 2023.

This event will emphasize:

  • plenty of time for meeting and connecting with other directors for on-going support after the event,
  • time for self-reflection,
  • hands-on activities,
  • providing tools and information that can be readily transferred to teachers once the director returns to their program, and
  • two FUN evening events!

This Retreat is unlike any regular conference! It is designed by a former ECE program director who was in the field during Covid. This event takes directors’ current, unique needs in mind and includes the recent input of active SBC ECE directors and stakeholders so attendees can be sure that this content is worthwhile.


A key component of the Retreat for center directors is the opportunity to tour model ECE programs that are providing innovative, high quality early education. On the final day of the Retreat, we will visit local high-quality centers for inspiration and fresh ideas.


Another highly useful tool provided at the Retreat will be the Best Practices Handbook that will contain 50+ innovative ideas from participating centers that directors can take back to share and implement with their team.


The event is being underwritten by the Audacious Foundation including all content, all meals, two fun evenings, and a shared hotel room for two nights. 

The only things that attendees need to provide is their own transportation to and from the event, and to email in a page of a best practice or practices from their program to share with fellow attendees in the Best Practices Handbook. More information on this will be provided to attendees to make this step easy.


This in-person event is being designed for attendee safety even if there is a Covid surge in Fall. We are very sensitive to the need for everyone to stay well during the Retreat and we are committed to doing so.


Registration for our 2023 Retreat will begin in spring 2023. 

Announcement of the opening of registration will be made to 2022 Retreat attendees and to participants of the monthly Director’s Collaborative calls overseen by Santa Barbara’s County Education Office in the April/May 2023 timeframe.


In the meantime, if you have questions, please reach out to Early Childhood Education Director Adrianna Foss at