First 5 Riverside County Children And Families Commission Names Child Care Pioneer As Its 2023 Champion For Children

Betty Bash (center) with First 5 Riverside County Commission and Executive Director Tammi Graham (third from left) and Senior Field Representative Melanie Bonilla (third from right) for Riverside County Second District Supervisor Karen Spiegel.

The First 5 Riverside County Children & Families Commission has named Betty Bash, founder of Town and Country Day School in Norco, as its 2023 Champion for Children based on recommendations by the Advisory Committee.

Ms. Bash founded Town and Country Day School in 1961, emphasizing quality education for young children, not just supervision. Her focus on fostering growth and development during children’s earliest years was ahead of its time, predating even California’s Head Start program when quality education in child care settings began to receive statewide attention. Ms. Bash’s founding of the school was also groundbreaking in an era where banking practices often served as a barrier against women starting their own businesses. 

Ms. Bash continues to work at Town and Country Day School today and remains an advocate for advancing early education throughout Riverside County. She is also the founder the Inland Empire Preschool Association which assists fledgling childcare centers in gaining their licenses and opening their doors. She further supports these new centers by designing preschool programs as well as playgrounds and outdoor classrooms to support active learning and healthy activity.

Ms. Bash was honored at the First 5 Riverside County Commission Meeting on October 25. She shared, “One of the things I learned a long time ago was the importance of community partnerships.” She cited F5RC’s partnership with Town and Country Day School through supports including staff training, conference inclusion, and the various opportunities to meet and collaborate with other child care business owners. She concluded, “Anything that we have achieved is shared with First 5. You’ve always been there for us. From not only myself but everyone at Town and County, thank you very much.”

Second Supervisorial District Field Representative Melanie Bonilla attended to present Ms. Bash with a certificate, saying “On behalf of Supervisor Karen Spiegel, we thank you for being an exemplary leader within the city of Norco and in the county of Riverside. Thank you for providing for our children. We appreciate you!”

As this year’s Champion for Children, $1,000 will be awarded in Mrs. Bash’s name to sponsor a community event of her choice. 

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