Diana McClarien leads Start Early’s (formerly known as the Ounce) Early/Head Start Network, working with local community-based agencies to deliver comprehensive supports that address the immediate needs of families, while also helping them plan for future success. She continually looks for new and innovative ways to improve program services and outcomes.
Diana has more than 20 years of experience in early childhood serving as a family advocate, teacher, home visitor, education coordinator, program manager and grantee director. She began her career working for Migrant Head Start, providing child care and a comprehensive program of health, parent involvement and social services for preschool children of low-income agricultural workers.
Diana holds a master of education in teaching, learning and assessment from National Louis University. She was selected as a 2019-2020 Barbara Bowman Leadership Fellow, a program designed to enrich the perspective and enhance the capacity of diverse child advocates who are committed to advancing racial equity through early childhood policy.
Diana lives in the western suburbs of Chicago with her husband Vince and their youngest daughter Cataleya. She is an innovative bilingual/bicultural leader who serves as a member of the Board of Education Equity Advisory Committee for District 308. She is also a member of the IFF’s (previously the Illinois Facilities Fund) Quality Facilities for All Advisory Committee a mission-driven lender, real estate consultant and developer that provides leadership, capital and real estate solutions to nonprofits.